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ROLE OF CODE-SWITCHING IN TEACHING IN BOTSWANA Tsaona S Mokgwathi

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ROLE OF CODE-SWITCHING IN TEACHING IN BOTSWANA Tsaona S Mokgwathi
ROLE OF CODE-SWITCHING IN TEACHING
AND LEARNING IN SELECTED SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOLS
IN BOTSWANA
by
Tsaona S Mokgwathi
Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
DPhil (Applied Linguistics)
at the
University of Pretoria, South Africa, 2011
Pretoria, South Africa
© University of Pretoria
DEDICATION
This piece of work is dedicated to my late father Royal Seitsiwe Mathula, the
man who shaped my life and instilled in me the value of education.
i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Embarking on a Ph. D is no easy task, and one would not know it until you find
yourself swimming through the deep and dark waters in search of new knowledge.
However, the main source of hope is one’s supervisor who acts as the ‘life-saver’
through the long and arduous journey. Professor Vic N. Webb of the Department of
Afrikaans’ Centre for Research in the Politics of Language was my ‘life-saver’ and my
immense gratitude goes to him. He guided me from the research proposal stage until
the finalization of this thesis. His constructive criticism taught me how to apply my
mind fully and to develop scholarly analysis that enabled me to critically interrogate
my data in order to arrive at the conclusions of this thesis. Without his guidance,
encouragement and advice I would not have been able to produce this piece of work.
His professional assistance ensured that I remained focused on my goal.
Truly, the production of a piece of academic work at this level is a collective effort of
many colleagues, friends and family. However, I would like to particularly
acknowledge the following staff members of the Department of Statistics at the
University of Pretoria for their contribution which made my burden a lot easier to
carry: Ms Jaqui Sommerville, the Computer Programmer who gave me invaluable
assistance as I prepared for the practical data collection stage of my study. She worked
with me from the questionnaire design stage up to data analysis stage and continued to
render me professional support as I wrote my thesis. Her patience and readiness to
assist whenever I needed further analysis of the data were amazing. I will always
treasure the professional relationship we developed as I worked on my thesis. Mrs.
Fransonet Reyneke, a Statistician who acted as my consultant as I analysed the data.
When my knowledge of Statistics seemed to fall short, Mrs. Reyneke was willing to
unravel the mysteries of numbers for me. Dr. Hermi Borraine who advised me on
sampling at the initial stage of my study as I prepared for the field research. Mrs.
Rhuhanda Bron and Mrs. Jankowitz who assisted with data capturing in preparation for
the quantitative analysis of the data. The speed at which they performed this task was
amazing. Mrs. Rita Badenhorst, Subject Librarian at the University of Pretoria Library
for her invaluable assistance on literature search. Prof. De Kok who proof-read the
initial chapters of my thesis. My ‘adopted’ son, Karabo Modipane at the University of
ii
Pretoria who sharpened and enhanced my computer literacy skills which made it
possible for me to include graphic illustrations in my thesis.
At the University of Botswana I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the
following: Professor Dele Akindele who acted as my resident mentor and critiqued my
work in order to ensure that I do not navigate off the path I had initially set for myself.
His selflessness in mentoring me after my return from the University of Pretoria
showed me that he was truly an academic at heart. Dr. Joel Magogwe, a colleague for
the assistance he rendered as I did the final touches on my thesis. Dr. Mandu
Gasennelwe-Jeffrey for the support she rendered as a colleague, friend and sister during
our stay at the University of Pretoria and after my return back home. She showed me
that the spirit of ‘botho’ (ubuntu) is still alive in Africa. Mrs. Olivia Mokgatlhe, also a
colleague, friend and sister for her valuable contribution during the data analysis stage.
It would not have been possible for me to pursue my Ph.D studies had it not been for
my employer, the University of Botswana, who granted me study leave and fully
sponsored me during the course of my studies. I shall forever be grateful for this
privilege. My gratitude also goes to the University of Pretoria for extending graduate
sponsorship to me which enabled me to pay for professional services I received in
relation to the production of this piece of work. I am also indebted to the Ministry of
Education and Skills Development for granting me the permission to use their schools
as sources of data for my research. The cooperation I received from the four schools in
the study enabled me to collect data for the study. School heads allowed me to access
their schools; the teachers who participated in the study allowed me to sit, observe and
audio-tape their lessons, and also completed questionnaires for me; and the learners of
the classes selected for participation in the study welcomed me in their classes and also
completed questionnaires for me. Without their cooperation, this study would not have
taken off the ground.
On the social front, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Dintho
and their children who opened their home for me and made me feel at home away from
home during my field research in the North East region. Mrs. Runyowa and Mrs.
Madzivanyika, teachers at Legae Primary School, who provided my youngest son with
the motherly support he badly needed during my absence. They have shown me that
iii
you do not have to be a blood relative to be of such immense assistance. They have
proven that sometimes ‘water may be thicker than blood’.
Last but not least, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to my family and
relatives who supported me in many ways and understood my long absence from home.
Their constant encouragement whenever I was losing hope of ever achieving my goal
will always be treasured. In particular, my appreciation goes to my husband Anthony
Mokgwathi who was the sole parent to our three children in addition to attending to our
projects and progressing our plans; my three children Omphitlhetse, Topo and Modiegi
who made my burden easier by concentrating on their studies every year despite my
absence as their ‘home tutor’; my niece Olerato who stepped into my shoes to be
‘domestic mother’ to my youngest son and helped him with his home work every
evening; my mother who was a true granny to my children and saw it fit to leave her
home occasionally and travel a thousand of kilometers to visit them despite her
advanced age and fragile health; my sister and friend Mohepiemang who was selfless in
doing whatever she could to render assistance to my family; my niece Onneile and my
brother Sekgele who stepped in to provide transport for my son to and from school
whenever the need arose. Indeed, family is great and I will forever be indebted to all of
you.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Linette Downes-Webb
(edLETTERA CONSULTANTS) who edited the entire manuscript for me. The
professional work she did for me (despite the pressure she worked under) has resulted
in a bond of friendship between us.
iv
SUMMARY
This qual-quan case study investigated the role of code-switching (CS) in education in
four senior secondary schools in Botswana. CS is a communicative strategy used in
many places, including Botswana, during formal and informal social occasions. CS
also occurs in education; however, its occurrence is viewed as a somewhat
problematical phenomenon – that it signals the speaker’s lack of proficiency in the
Language of Learning and Teaching (LoLT). The study also investigated if CS in the
classroom contravenes the country’s Language-in-Education Policy (LiEP), which
states that English is the medium of instruction throughout the education system
(Botswana Government White Paper No.2 of 1994).
The study found that CS occurrence in teaching and learning has positive and negative
educational effects. However, its use has adverse implications for the LiEP of
Botswana. Consequently, recommendations are made on the effective use of CS and
on the revision of the LiEP.
The study is divided into nine chapters. Chapter One is the introduction and covers:
Botswana’s language situation, including the status of English generally and in
education in particular, the statement and analysis of the problem, research questions
and the importance of the study.
Chapter Two gives a comprehensive review of the literature on CS generally and CS in
education in particular. The key words are: code-switching, code-mixing, borrowing,
nonce-borrowing and re-borrowing / double-plural. Botswana’s LiEP is also discussed
with respect to language planning, education and educational development.
Chapter Three discusses the research design and the data-collection methods. These
include: the research sites, sample selection and sampling procedures, data-collection
instruments and their administration, and the independent and dependent variables used
in data-collection. The importance of pre-testing the research instruments, ethical
aspects observed and problems encountered during the data-collection stage are also
highlighted. The role of the University of Pretoria’s Statistics Department is also
v
explained. Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING used in the analysis of the qualitative
data is also described.
Chapter Four presents the quantitative analysis of the respondents’ demographic
details, and highlighting the differences and similarities identified.
Chapters Five and Six present the results from the quantitative analysis of the teachers’
and learners’ data. The former presents the teachers’ evaluation of the learners’
language proficiency in class; the latter presents the learners’ subjective self-evaluation
of their own English proficiency and their evaluation of teachers’ proficiency in
English. Furthermore, both chapters respectively present the teachers and learners’
views on the role of English, Setswana and other indigenous languages in education as
LoLT, and their attitude towards CS in education. The significance or the nonsignificance of the analyzed results is also presented.
Chapter Seven presents the results from the qualitative analysis of the data (through the
application of Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING) obtained through lesson
observations.
Chapter Eight deals with the interpretation and discussion of the results through
answering the main research questions.
Chapter Nine presents the study’s summary, conclusions and recommendations on CS
in the classroom and on Botswana’s LiEP. The study’s limitations and implications for
further research are also discussed.
vi
KEY TERMS
Code-switching
Intra-sentential code-switching
Inter-sentential code-switching
Tag-like / emblematic code-switching
Code-mixing
Nonce borrowing
Borrowing proper
Re-borrowing
Language shift
Language planning
Language policy
Language in education policy
vii
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKN0WLEDGEMNT....................................................................................................ii
SUMMARY ...................................................................................................................... v KEY TERMS ..................................................................................................................vii LIST OF ADDENDA.....................................................................................................xiii LIST OF TABLES .........................................................................................................xiii LIST OF GRAPHS.......................................................................................................... xv LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................xvi LIST OF ACRONYMS.................................................................................................xvii TRANSCRIPTION CONVENTIONS...........................................................................xix CHAPTER ONE ............................................................................................................... 1 INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................1 1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY ..........................................................................1 1.1.1 The status of English in Botswana ...................................................................4 1.2 THE PROBLEM AND ITS STATEMENT...............................................................8 1.2.1 The statement of the problem...........................................................................8 1.2.2 Problem analysis ............................................................................................10 1.3 THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS .............................................................................10 1.4 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY..................................................................11 1.5 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY .............................................................................12 CHAPTER TWO............................................................................................................. 14 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK .................................................................................14 2.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................14 2.2 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF CS........................................................................14 2.2.1 The Markedness Model..................................................................................18
2.2.2 The Matrix Language Frame model (MLF)...................................................20 2.2.3 The Matrix Language Principle (MLP)..........................................................21 2.3 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS................................................................................22 2.3.1 CS...................................................................................................................23 a. Intra-sentential CS....................................................................................27 b. Inter-sentential CS ...................................................................................28 c. Tag-like or emblematic CS ......................................................................29 2.3.2 Code-mixing (CM).........................................................................................32 2.3.3 Borrowing ......................................................................................................35 2.3.4 Re-borrowing .................................................................................................38 2.3.5 Nonce borrowing............................................................................................40 2.4: SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF CS...............................................................................42 2.5 CS IN EDUCATION ...............................................................................................51 2.6 BOTSWANA’S LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION POLICY (LIEP) .......................76 viii
2.6.1 Language planning .........................................................................................80 2.6.2 Language and its functions.............................................................................83 2.6.3 The role of language in education and educational development ..................85 2.7 CONCLUSION........................................................................................................87
CHAPTER THREE......................................................................................................... 90 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY...................................................................................90 3.1 INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................90 3.2 THE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD ......................................................91 3.3 THE QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD ...................................................94 3.4 RESEARCH SITE....................................................................................................98 3.5 SAMPLE SELECTION AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE .................................103 3.5.1 Selection of teachers ....................................................................................104 3.5.2 Selection of subjects.....................................................................................106 3.5.3 Selection of classes ......................................................................................107 3.5.4 Selection of learners.....................................................................................108 3.6 DATA-COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS .............................................................109 3.6.1 The observation of lessons in the classroom................................................110 (a) Hymes’ SPEAKING model....................................................................111 3.6.2 Questionnaire interview ...............................................................................114 (a) Administration of the teachers’ questionnaire........................................115 (b) Administration of the learners’ questionnaire ........................................116 3.7 DIMENSIONS OF VARIATION OR VARIABLES............................................118 3.8 PRE-TESTING OF INSTRUMENTS ...................................................................121 3.9 INPUT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS ............................................122 3.10 ETHICAL ASPECTS...........................................................................................124 3.11 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED DURING THE FIELD-RESEARCH
STAGE .................................................................................................................125 3.12 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................126 CHAPTER FOUR ......................................................................................................... 127 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE DATA RESPONDENTS’ DEMOGRAPHIC AND LANGUAGE PROFILES......................128 4.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................128 4.2 QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA FROM THE
QUESTIONNAIRES.............................................................................................129
4.3 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF THE DATA.......................................................129 4.4 PRESENTATION OF THE ANALYSED DATA IN THE PRESENT
CHAPTER..............................................................................................................132 4.5 BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS..................133 4.5.1 Teachers .......................................................................................................133 4.5.2 Learners........................................................................................................135 4.6 DEMOGRAPHIC DETAILS ABOUT THE TEACHERS....................................136 4.7 LANGUAGE PROFILE OF THE TEACHERS....................................................138 4.7.1 Teachers’ language use ................................................................................144 4.8 PRESENTATION OF THE LEARNERS’ RESULTS..........................................148 4.8.1 Demographic details about the learners .......................................................149 4.8.2 Learners’ language profile ...........................................................................150 ix
4.8.3 Learners’ language use.................................................................................153 4.9 A COMPARISON OF TEACHERS’ AND LEARNERS’ DATA ON
DEMOGRAPHIC DETAILS, LANGUAGE PROFILE AND THEIR
VIEWS ON THE FUNCTIONAL DOMAINS OF ENGLISH AND
SETSWANA ..........................................................................................................157 4.9.1 Home language.............................................................................................157 4.9.2 Proficiency in Setswana and English ...........................................................158 4.9.3 The importance and functional uses of Setswana and English ....................158 4.9.4 English knowledge for prestige....................................................................160 4.9.5 Setswana in education ..................................................................................161 4.9.6 Setswana in public life .................................................................................162 4.10 CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................162 CHAPTER FIVE........................................................................................................... 164 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE QUANTITATIVE DATA:
TEACHERS’ RESPONSES.........................................................................................164 5.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................164 5.2 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER ...........................................................................................164 5.3 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE LEARNERS’ PROFICIENCY IN
ENGLISH AND SETSWANA ..............................................................................167 5.4 TEACHERS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS CS AND ITS ROLE IN THE
CLASSROOM .......................................................................................................175 5.5 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE ROLE OF SETSWANA IN EDUCATION.......197 5.6 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE ROLE OF OTHER LOCAL LANGUAGES
IN EDUCATION ..................................................................................................202 5.7 SHORT SUMMARY OF FINDINGS..................................................................208
CHAPTER SIX ............................................................................................................. 209 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE DATA: LEARNERS’
RESPONSES................................................................................................................210 6.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................210 6.2 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER ...........................................................................................210 6.3 LEARNERS’ EVALUATION OF THEIR COMPETENCE AND THE
TEACHERS’ COMPETENCE IN THE LANGUAGE USE IN CLASS..............212 6.4 LEARNERS’ VIEWS ON THE EFFECT OF CS ON THE LIEP OF
BOTSWANA .........................................................................................................231 6.5 LEARNERS’ VIEWS ON THE USE OF SETSWANA AND OTHER
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN EDUCATION ................................................253 6.6 SHORT SUMMARY OF FINDINGS ...................................................................264 CHAPTER SEVEN....................................................................................................... 265 PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE QUALITATIVE DATA...................265 7.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................265 7.2 THE QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA FROM LESSON
OBSERVATIONS .................................................................................................265 x
7.3 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER ...........................................................................................268 7.4 CS OCCURRENCE IN CONTENT SUBJECTS ..................................................269 7.4.1 Transcription 1: Biology lesson ...................................................................269 7.4.2 Transcription 2: Home Economics lesson: Fashion and Fabric...................269 7.4.3 Transcription 3: History lesson ....................................................................270 7.5 CS OCCURRENCE IN THE LANGUAGE SUBJECTS......................................282 7.5.1 Transcription 4: English Language lesson ...................................................283 7.5.2 Transcription 5: Setswana lesson .................................................................284 7.6 THE FORM (NATURE) OF CS USED IN THE CLASSROOM .........................290 7.6.1 Content subjects ...........................................................................................290 7.6.2 Language subjects ........................................................................................295 7.7 FUNCTIONS OF CS IN THE CLASSROOM ......................................................298 7.7.1 Content subjects ...........................................................................................298 7.7.2 Language subjects (English Language and Literature in English)...............305 7.7.3 Functions of CS in a Setswana class ............................................................307 7.8 USE OF BORROWING AND CM FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ............313 7.8.1 Borrowing proper .........................................................................................313 7.8.2 Nonce borrowing..........................................................................................317 7.8.3 CM................................................................................................................318 7.9 SUMMARY ...........................................................................................................319 CHAPTER EIGHT........................................................................................................ 320 INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS.................................320 8.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................320 8.2 RESEARCH QUESTION ONE: WHAT ARE THE DEFINING
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PHENOMENON OF CS?..................................321 8.3 RESEARCH QUESTION TWO: TO WHAT EXTENT IS CS USED IN
EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS IN BOTSWANA?.................................................328 8.3.1 Teachers’ responses .....................................................................................328 8.3.2 Learners'responses....................................................................................... 330
8.3.3 Summary of teachers and learners’ attitudes towards CS............................331 8.3.4 The qualitative data ......................................................................................332 8.3.5 Functions of CS in the classroom.................................................................335 8.4 RESEARCH QUESTION THREE: CAN THE PHENOMENON IN.........................
BOTSWANA CLASSROOMS BE CALLED CS? ...............................................341 8.5 RESEARCH QUESTION FOUR ..........................................................................348 8.5.1 What are the didactic consequences of CS in the schools?..........................348 8.5.2 Is CS educationally beneficial? ....................................................................357 8.5.3 Does the use of CS in a classroom situation slow down the pace of
teaching and learning?..................................................................................362 8.5.4 Is the practice of CS from English to Setswana in a classroom situation
discriminatory to non-Setswana speakers? ..................................................364 8.6 RESEARCH QUESTION FIVE ............................................................................366 8.6.1 Does the use of CS in a classroom situation violate the LiEP of
Botswana? ....................................................................................................366 8.6.2 Is the LiEP consistent with the practical realities of the classroom
situation? ......................................................................................................368 xi
8.6.3 Should the LiEP be revised to ensure that the LoLT promotes maximum
delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills development?.................373 8.7 RESEARCH QUESTION SIX: DOES THE CURRENT LiEP PROMOTE
NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SETSWANA AND OTHER
LOCAL LANGUAGES? .......................................................................................377 8.7.1 Teachers’ perceptions about Setswana in education....................................377 8.7.2 Learners’ perceptions about Setswana in education.....................................378
8.7.3 Teachers’ perceptions about using local languages (besides Setswana)
in education ..................................................................................................378 8.7.4 Learners’ perceptions about using local languages (besides Setswana)
in education ..................................................................................................379 8.7.5 Summary of teachers’ and learners’ views on using Setswana in
education ......................................................................................................380 8.7.6 Summary of the teachers’ and learners’ views on using local languages
in education ..................................................................................................381 8.7.7 Qualitative data ............................................................................................381 8.8 CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................382 CHAPTER NINE .......................................................................................................... 385
SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND
LIMITATIONS............................................................................................................385 9.1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................385 9.2 SUMMARY ...........................................................................................................385 9.3 CONCLUSIONS....................................................................................................388 9.3.1. The prevalence of CS in the classroom.......................................................388 9.3.2. The teachers’ attitude towards CS...............................................................389 9.3.3 The learners’ attitude towards CS ................................................................389 9.3.4 CS to a local language..................................................................................390 9.3.5 Functions of CS in the classroom.................................................................390 9.3.6 Didactic consequences of CS .......................................................................391 9.3.7. Educational effects of CS............................................................................393 9.4 RECOMMENDATIONS .......................................................................................403 9.4.1 Recommendations on CS in the classroom......................................................404 9.4.2 Recommendations on the LiEP.......................................................................405 9.5 LIMITATIONS OF AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH .......409 9.6 CONCLUSION ......................................................................................................411 BIBLIOGRAPHY ......................................................................................................... 412 xii
LIST OF ADDENDA
ADDENDUM A: Webb’s Framework for strategic planning
ADDENDUM B: Map of Botswana showing secondary and technical schools
ADDENDUM C: Samples of transcribed lessons
ADDENDUM D: Teachers’ questionnaire
ADDENDUM E: Learners’ questionnaire
LIST OF TABLES
Table 4.1: Teachers’ distribution by school and gender ..............................................136
Table 4.2: Teachers’ distribution by age......................................................................136
Table 4.3: Teaching experience ...................................................................................137
Table 4.4: Teachers’ distribution by subject taught .....................................................137
Table 4.5: Teachers’ home language (HL)...................................................................139
Table 4.6: Teachers’ subjective proficiency rating in English and Setswana ..............139
Table 4.7: Teachers’ views on preferred language for social use ................................144
Table 4.8: Teachers’ perceptions about the value of English and Setswana................146
Table 4.9: The importance that teachers attach to Setswana in education...................147
Table 4.10: The importance that teachers attach to Setswana in public life ................148
Table 4.11: Learner distribution by school and gender…………................................149
Table 4.12: Form (Grade)……………………………………………………….........150
Table 4.13: Learners' home Language (HL)………………………………….............150
Table 4.14: Learners' subjective proficiency rating in English and Setswana.............151
Table 4.15: Learners’ self-reports on preferred language for use by social domain....153
Table 4.16: Learners’ perceptions about the value of English and Setswana.............. 154
Table 4.17: Importance learners attach to Setswana in education and public life........156
Table 5.1: Teachers’ evaluation of learners’ proficiency in English and Setswana.....168
Table 5.2: Teachers' observations on learners' language use in class...........................169
Table 5.3: Reasons why teachers always use English in class.....................................171
Table 5.4: Teachers' views on the appropriateness of the LiEP...................................172
Table 5.5: Teachers' attitude to learners' CS use in the classroom...............................175
Table 5.6: Teachers' views on learners' language use in class (by gender)..................178
Table 5.7: Teachers’ views on their medium of lesson delivery .................................180
Table 5.8: Teachers’ attitude towards allowing learners to CS in the classroom ........182
Table 5.9: Teachers' responses on when learners are allowed to CS in the
classroom....................................................................................................184
Table 5.10: Teachers’ views on causes of CS by teachers and learners ......................185
Table 5.11: Reasons for teachers’ use of CS in class...................................................187
Table 5.12: Instances when teachers allow learners to code-switch to Setswana in
the classroom.............................................................................................188
Table 5.13: Teachers' views on the educational benefits of CS in a Setswana
class...........................................................................................................191
Table 5.14: Teachers’ views on the effect of CS on teaching and learning pace.........192
xiii
Table 5.15: Teachers’ views on the didactic consequences of CS in the schools........193
Table 5.16: Teachers’ views on the educational benefits of CS ..................................195
Table 5.17: Teachers’ attitude towards CS for instructional purposes ........................196
Table 5.18: Teachers’ views on the effects of Botswana’s LiEP on the use of
Setswana in education ..............................................................................197
Table 5.19: Teachers’ use of local languages in class..................................................202
Table 5.20: Local languages often used in class………………………………...........203
Table 5.21: Teachers’ views on the effect of Botswana’s LiEP on other local
languages...................................................................................................204
Table 6.1: Learners' self-evaluation in proficiency in English use in class..................212
Table 6.2: Learners’ views on writing examinations in English..................................215
Table 6.3: Learners’ evaluation of teachers’ English proficiency in class...................217
Table 6.4: Learners’ attitude towards use of CS in class by the teachers ....................220
Table 6.5: Learners’ views on teachers’ language use in class (by gender) ................224
Table 6.6: Learners’ views on teachers’ language use in class (by subject) ................228
Table 6.7: Learners’ views on the revision of the LiEP...............................................231
Table 6.8: Learners’ views on relationship between CS and English proficiency.......232
Table 6.9: Didactic consequences of CS in a non-Setswana class...............................234
Table 6.10: Learners’ views on the effect of CS use in class on non-Setswana
speaking learners .......................................................................................238
Table 6.11: Reasons for learners’ CS use in the classroom .........................................239
Table 6.12: Learners’ views on educational benefits of CS use in a non-Setswana
class ...........................................................................................................242
Table 6.13: Learners’ attitude towards CS use in a Setswana class (Didactic) ...........244
Table 6.14: Learners’ views on extent of their CS use in a Setswana class.................246
Table 6.15: Learners’ views on extent of teachers’ CS in a Setswana class................248
Table 6.16: Learners’ views on the effect of CS on the pace of teaching and
learning.....................................................................................................249
Table 6.17: Learners’ views on their use of CS in class (by gender)...........................250
Table 6.18: Learners’ views on the teachers’ use of other local languages in class ....253
Table 6.19: Local languages teachers use in class .......................................................255
Table 6.20: Learners’ negative perceptions about the use of Setswana in class..........256
Table 6.21: Learners’ negative perceptions about the use of other local languages
in class .......................................................................................................258
Table 7.1: Examples of borrowing proper (English origin) .........................................314
Table 7.2: Examples of borrowing proper used during the Setswana lesson...............315
Table 7.3: Examples of nonce borrowing ....................................................................317
Table 7.4: Examples of borrowed words from other Southern African
languages....................................................................................................317
Table 8.1: Examples of Setswana nouns and verbs borrowed from English ...............350
xiv
LIST OF GRAPHS
Graph 4.1: A histogram showing the average teaching load (number of students
per teacher) across the four schools ............................................................ 134
Graph 4.2: Teachers’ proficiency rate in English and Setswana................................... 143
Graph 4.3: Learners’ proficiency rate in English and Setswana ................................... 153
Graph 4.4: Teachers’ and learners’ home language ...................................................... 158
Graph 4.5: The importance that teachers and learners attach to English for
prestige ........................................................................................................ 161
xv
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
AG: Agree
A: Always
B: Boys
BG: Boys and Girls
Bio: Biology
C: Class
C/mates: Classmates
DA: Disagree
Eng: English
ES: English and Setswana
Exam: Examination
F: Female
F and F: Fashion and Fabric
Flu: Fluent
Frq: Frequency
G: Girls
HA: High Ability
HE: Home Economics
Hist: History
HL: Home Language
Ika: Ikalanga
Imp: Important
LA: Low Ability
L and L: Language and Literature
Lit: Little
Ln 1: Leaner One
Ln 2: Learner Two
M: Male
MA: Medium Ability
MF: Missing frequency
Mod. Flu: Moderately Fluent
Naa: Not at all
xvi
Not Imp: Not Important
NW: Not that Well
NS: Not Sure
Nv: Never
Ques: Question
RQ: Research Question
S: Sometimes
Sets: Setswana
S/mates: Schoolmates
T: Total (within tables)
T: Teacher (within transcriptions)
V Imp: Very Important
VW: Very Well
VM: Very Much
W: Well
LIST OF ACRONYMS
BICS: Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills
BGCSE: Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education
CALP: Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency
CM: Code-mixing (noun / verb)
CS: Code-switching (noun / verb)
EL: Embedded Language
ESL: English as a Second Language
F 4: Form Four
F 5: Form Five
HFFC: High Function Formal Context
HFIC: High Function Informal Context
HFLFC: High Function Less Formal Context
L1: First Language
L2: Second Language
LP: Language Planning
xvii
LPP: Language Planning and Policy
LiEP: Language in Education Policy
LiCCA: Language in contact and conflict in Africa
LFFC: Low Function Formal Context
LFIC: Low Function Informal Context
LoI: Language of Instruction
LoLT: Language of Learning and Teaching
LWC: Language of Wider Communication
ML: Matrix Language
MLF: Matrix Language Frame
MLP: Matrix Language Principle
MoE: Ministry of Education
MT: Mother Tongue
MTBE: Mother Tongue-Based Education
MTBBE: Mother Tongue-Based Bilingual Education
N: Nominal value
NCE: National Commission on Education
NCE 1: National Commission on Education (No. 1)
NCE 2: National Commission on Education (No. 2)
PanSALB: Pan South African Language Board
PSLE: Primary School Leaving Examinations
Qual-Quan: Qualitative-Quantitative analysis
ROS: Rights and Obligations Set
S 1: School One
S 2: School Two
S 3: School Three
S 4: School Four
SAALT: South African Association for Language Teachers
ToR: Terms of Reference
UNDP: United Nations Development Programme
xviii
TRANSCRIPTION CONVENTIONS
The following symbols were used in the transcriptions of lessons (and also in the
extracts reproduced in the text) based on Arthur’s conventions (2001, 59):
Te= teacher
Ln= learner
Lns= Learners in chorus
C= class
(
) indicate unclear speech
[BLOCK CAPITALS] indicate comment on an act taking place during the lesson
{
} indicate overlapping speech
Learners’ names have been deleted from the transcriptions
Normal sentence punctuation has been used as far as possible, for easy readability of
the transcriptions to lay readers.
Commas have been used to indicate normal pauses in the speech; but long pauses or
hesitations have been indicated with three full stops (…) or by word [silence]
Plain font has been used in the reproduction of the transcriptions in English in a lesson
delivered in English and Setswana in a lesson delivered in Setswana.
Bold represents Setswana code-switching in an English text and English codeswitching in a Setswana text.
Italics represent translations of Setswana into English.
Code-switching texts in English in a Setswana lesson are not translated into Setswana
There are no direct translations for the following frequently used Setswana tags, but are
literally used to mean:
¾ ‘Ga kere’: ‘you agree with me’ or ‘it is so’
¾ ‘A re a utlwana’ : do we understand each other
¾ ‘A re mmogo’ : are we together
¾ ‘ke a utlwala sentle’ : Am I well-understood
¾ ‘mma’ : polite form of address for females meaning ‘madam’
¾ ‘rra’ : polite form of address for males meaning ‘sir’
¾ ‘ee’ : short response meaning ‘yes’
¾ ‘nnyaa’ : short response meaning ‘no’
¾ ‘eemm.’ contracted form of ‘ee mma’
xix
¾ ‘eerr.’ contracted form of ‘ee rra’
¾ ‘ee?’ used in the form of a question to solicit a response or to check if the
learners agree with the teacher
¾ ‘mm?’ used to check if learners are following what the teacher is saying
¾ ‘heh?’ used to imply that one has not understood or to check if the
learners are following what the teacher is saying; meaning depends on
contextual use.
¾ ‘aammh’ used to provide a pause in the speech as the speaker still figures
out what word to use or what to say.
xx
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
To better understand the occurrence of code-switching (CS) in Botswana classrooms,
an awareness of the language situation in Botswana is imperative. Equally important is
an understanding of the role of English in Botswana. According to Batibo and Smieja
(2000), research has not yet established the exact number of languages in Botswana
owing to the blurred distinction between a language and a dialect. Webb (2002: 72)
made a similar observation on the linguistic profile of South Africa when he
commented that it is difficult to be precise about the number and identity of languages
of South Africa. Notwithstanding the above, it is generally agreed that Botswana has
at least 25 languages, including English and Setswana (Webb & Kembo-Sure, 2000:
47; Molosiwa, 2006: 16; Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004). Batibo (2006) puts the figure at 28.
The exact status of Setswana is debatable, as scholars do not agree on the precise
proportion of the population of Setswana speakers who speak the language as their
mother tongue, or use it only as a second language. For instance, Nyati-Ramahobo
(2004: 31) states that Setswana is spoken by eight Tswana tribes that comprise 80% of
the population. Other scholars put the figure at 78.6% (Batibo, 2006), or 90% (Webb &
Kembo-Sure, 2000: 47). Molosiwa (2006: 17) adds another dimension by stating that
Setswana is spoken by at least 80% of the population either as their mother tongue or
as a second language. Despite these conflicting figures, all these scholars agree that
Setswana is the most widely spoken language in the country, hence its status as the
national language. Other languages (at least 23 of them) make up the remaining 21.4%
of the population (Batibo, 2006).
English is the official language in Botswana and is used in the secondary domain
cluster functioning as the language of education, government administration, the
judiciary, science and technology, trade and industry, and the media. Setswana is the
national language but has limited use in some of the secondary domain clusters such as
education, government administration, the judiciary and the media. However, it still
predominantly functions in primary domain clusters as a language spoken by family,
1
friends, in religion, in the local markets, domestic service, and in traditional social
institutions. Other local languages such as Ikalanga, Shiyeyi, and Sekgalagadi to
mention but a few function strictly within primary domain clusters.
Setswana was the first indigenous language to undergo status and corpus planning. To
date, few indigenous languages, including Ikalanga and Shiyeyi, have undergone
corpus planning, mainly by the efforts of some scholars but not by the efforts of
government. The language issue in Botswana is beginning to receive much attention.
Language activists are pressurizing the government to give all indigenous languages
the same treatment as that of Setswana. The feeling among these scholars is that the
government is deliberately stifling the development of these languages (NyatiRamahobo, 2004). In the views of these language speakers, by not promoting their
languages in the same way that Setswana is promoted, the government is denying them
the right to use their languages in order to assimilate them into Setswana. They view
the attitude of the government as treating language not as a right and a resource but as
a problem. The proponents of this view were supported by the Government’s rejection
of Recommendation 18 (e) made by the second National Commission on Education
(NCE 2) of 1993: 115 regarding the teaching of local languages in schools which
stated that:
Where parents request that other local languages be taught to their children, the
school should make arrangements to teach them as a co-curricular activity.
The government’s argument for the rejection of this recommendation was that there
would be undue pressure on schools to offer the various languages spoken in the
country as schools have no capacity to undertake this new task and the education
system is unable to support such a development. In addition, it was contrary to the
national language policy. The latter implies that the national language, Setswana,
should be the only local language taught in schools with the objective of building a
unified nation in which “… tribal groups will … take secondary place”
(Carter & Morgan, quoted in Molosiwa, 2006: 23). In the spirit of the national
language policy, nationhood takes precedence over ethnic identity.
2
Looking at the ethnic conflict in Africa, it is perhaps fair to say that the initial decision
to promote nationhood over ethnicity was a wise one. Building a unified nation after
independence was the greatest priority given that a number of African countries were
ravaged by wars resulting from ethnic tensions after independence. These fears were
not without reason. However, having succeeded in building a united nation that
proudly calls itself the Batswana, whilst other ethnic groups had to accept being
collectively identified as Batswana, it is perhaps time for the government to make
some concessions and begin to show a willingness to recognize Botswana as a
multilingual country and ethnic diversity as a right and a resource, and not a problem.
Paying lip-service to the recognition of ethnic diversity without showing any tangible
efforts to promote other languages will only exacerbate the problem. The general
feeling among these ethnic groups is that their languages and cultures are being
suppressed. Consequently, they are also indirectly being suppressed. Botswana is
projected as a monolingual country while, in fact, it is not. In this regard it is way
behind other countries such as Benin, Ghana, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo, which have
promoted indigenous languages (Webb, 1995: 103). Even a young democracy like
South Africa has made visible progress regarding the promotion of its indigenous
languages by declaring that there are 11 official languages, including nine indigenous
languages (Murray, 2002: 436; Webb, 1995: 77). In addition, the Pan South African
Language Board (PanSALB) is charged with the responsibility of promoting and
creating conditions for the development and use of all the official languages, including
the Khoi and San languages and the South African sign languages (Heugh, 2002: 462).
Therefore, in Botswana, the issue should not be that other languages are not being
developed because their speakers are numerically fewer than Setswana speakers, or
that some Tswana groups taken individually are viewed as minority groups. Both
arguments are weak; in fact, the arguments advanced by both sides (government and
language activists) are wrong. All indigenous languages should be developed to
enable their speakers not only to identify with them, express their cultures through
them, but also to be able to eventually use them in high function, formal contexts. As
Bamgbose (1991), Batibo (2004), Kamwangamalu (2004: 34 quoting Diop, 1999: 6-7)
rightly noted, one cannot develop a people by using a foreign language. The same
observation was made by Shope, Mazwai, and Makgoba (1999: xi in Kamwangamalu,
2004: 36).
3
1.1.1 The status of English in Botswana
English plays a prominent role in all spheres of life in Botswana (cf. para. 2 above).
For instance, the Constitution of Botswana states in Sections 61 (d) and 79 (c) that it is
a requirement that one should be functionally literate in English to be either a member
of Parliament or a member of the House of Chiefs (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004: 52). This
implies that both English and Setswana are languages of deliberation in both Houses.
Notwithstanding this pronouncement, most members of both Houses continue to
deliberate mainly in English because its use is viewed as a sign of high educational
status. It is ironic that the latter group – the Chiefs -- are seen as the custodians of
culture and language.
The government is the main and active promoter of English to such an extent that most
of its business is conducted in English. For instance, communication with the general
public is conducted in English. According to Nyati-Ramahobo (2004), a study was
conducted in three government ministries, namely Agriculture, Commerce and
Industry, and Health to find out in which language the government communicates with
the public. The study revealed that, in the Ministry of Agriculture, 61% of the
documents were written in English; in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, 95% of
the documents were in English; and in the Ministry of Health 42% of the documents
were in English. This practice is not limited to these three ministries only. In fact, it is
not uncommon for a government representative to address a large audience,
comprising mainly of Batswana, in English with or without a Setswana interpreter,
instead of the other way round. This occurs frequently during Independence Day
celebrations, the day that the Batswana are supposed to assert their nationhood, but
ironically the official programme is often largely conducted in English. In this regard,
Batibo (2006) called for a paradigm shift and a radical change so that Setswana
becomes functional at official events. He cautions that the tendency not to use the
national language during official functions may render it to the mere symbolic status as
opposed to a functional status (Batibo, 2006).
Similarly, English is the main language of the media (both public and private). A
study conducted at the two government-owned radio stations revealed that RB2, the
radio station that targets a youthful audience, broadcasts 70% of the time in English
4
(Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004). The situation is no better in the print media. The Daily News,
which is the only government-owned newspaper, prints only two pages out of 24 pages
in Setswana. Although no research known to the researcher has been conducted thus
far of the government-owned television station, Btv, on the English / Setswana content
of its programmes, from an ad hoc observation the situation is no better as most
programmes appear to be presented largely in English. Other languages do not feature
in the government audio, visual or print media. This is a source for worry because the
government should lead by example. However, one government success story is the
government-owned magazine, Kutlwano which, since its inception after the
independence of Botswana, has always been published in both English and Setswana.
The situation is worse in the private sector where the only language of business and
administration is English. Setswana is limited to spoken communication only. The
private media is no different: of at least eight private local newspapers, only one used
to disseminate news entirely in Setswana. This was the Mokgosi newspaper launched
in 2003 that was unfortunately closed down towards the end of 2005 largely due to
lack of advertising. One other newspaper, Mmegi, while it publishes mainly in
English, used to have some articles printed in Setswana, and a column in Ikalanga, a
local language. When the paper changed from a weekly one to a daily publication,
Setswana disappeared from its pages, except for occasional announcements prepared
by some government departments or parastatal organizations. Instead, a four-page
supplement named Naledi in the paper is printed entirely in Setswana, while Ikalanga
disappeared completely from the publication. This was an unfortunate step backward
as this newspaper was viewed as promoting not only Setswana but at least one of the
marginalized languages, as well. The only other private television station (the
Gaborone Broadcasting Corporation) broadcasts entirely in English. Three privately
owned radio stations – Gabs FM (for more mature audiences), Yarona FM and Duma
FM (for more youthful audiences) - broadcast entirely in English with some instances
of CS or CM as Tshinki (2002) and Ramando (2002) noted, even though they aim to
reach a larger audience beyond the capital of Botswana -- Gaborone -- where they are
all based.
The use of English is not only restricted to the secondary domain or to a language of
communication with foreigners; it is now becoming a language of everyday use even
5
among the Batswana. This is especially the case in urban centres among the youth and
the educated elite. This has resulted in code-switching especially in informal public
places such as bars, taxi ranks, stadiums, and shops (Tshinki, 2002). In some homes,
Setswana or other indigenous languages are not spoken, and English is the main
medium of communication. The latter is interesting to note as some language activists
advocate for the promotion of their languages through their introduction in schools, yet
they fail to teach these languages to their children at home. They do not seem to
realize that by promoting English as their home language, they are also contributing to
the demise of their languages.
In Botswana, English has always and still continues to play a prominent role in
education. When the country gained full independence in 1966, there was no clear
policy on the Medium of Instruction (MoI), or the Language of Learning and Teaching
(LoLT). Consequently, it was generally understood that English as the official
language was also to be the LoLT, and Setswana was the LoLT at lower levels of
primary school (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004; Molosiwa, 2006). It is against this
background that the two languages gained their role in education and were used side by
side at all levels of education rather than by official announcement. Although English
was supposedly the LoLT at upper-primary school level, its use was more theoretical
than practical. In reality, there was CS between English and Setswana in the classroom
and this extended even to other indigenous languages in various parts of the country
where Setswana was not the home language of the majority of the learners (Molosiwa,
2006). In that regard, Nyati-Ramahobo (2004: 43) noted that: “In practice teachers
actually code switched between Setswana and English throughout the primary and
secondary school level. … Practice further indicated that in the North East District,
Ikalanga continued to be used as an informal medium of instruction”.
It seems, however, that in both instances described above, what was viewed as CS
between English and Setswana, or between English and Ikalanga, was in fact repetition
of some parts of the lesson in Setswana or Ikalanga, or even the presentation of the
entire lesson in either Setswana or Ikalanga in an effort to overcome the language
barrier.
An effort was made in 1977, when the first National Commission on Education (NCE
1) of 1975 was appointed to review the education system in Botswana since
6
independence, observed that the status that English enjoyed in the education system as
the only LoLT, with Setswana being denied the same status, was a serious error which
did not auger well for national pride. The Commission (NCE 1) further observed that,
“The introduction of English as a medium of instruction as early as Standard 3 …
clearly discriminates against the national language …. The Commission feels strongly
that every nation ought to give a prominent place to its language in its education
system” (NCE 1, 1977: 76).
Consequently, the Commission recommended that Setswana be the LoLT during the
first four years of primary education. However, this decision regarding the use of
Setswana in education was short lived as it was reversed by the second National
Commission on Education (NCE 2) of 1993. The NCE 2 was mandated to undertake a
comprehensive review of the education system and to develop a system that would
enable the country to better meet the demands and challenges of the 21st century (NCE
2, 1993: i, 1). The Commission recommended in Recommendation No. 18a (NCE 2,
1993: 114) that, “… English should be used as the medium of instruction from
Standard One by 2000”.
In the Commission’s view, the use of Setswana in the early years of children’s
education delayed their acquisition of English as the language they needed for their
entire education and training, and eventually in the vocational field; and that their lack
of fluency and competence in English was due to the late introduction of English as the
LoLT. The government adopted the recommendation with the modification that
English shall be the official LoLT from the second year of schooling and throughout
the entire education system (Botswana Government White Paper on Revised National
Policy on Education, 1994); and this immediately became official policy. The logic
was that the first year of primary schooling would allow learners whose home language
was not Setswana to learn Setswana first. Thereafter, all learners would be taught in
English. The result was the demise of the role of Setswana in education, apart from
being taught as a subject, whilst English again took centre stage as the LoLT and
enjoys the greatest prominence in the education system in Botswana.
To date English is still the official language and the LoLT from primary to tertiary
levels. Setswana is the national language with limited use in administration, the
7
judiciary and the legislature; and it is only taught as a subject in primary and secondary
schools from the second year of primary education (Magogwe, 2005; Molosiwa, 2006).
The situation is even grimmer at the University of Botswana where Setswana is taught
in English. Despite the official exclusion of Setswana as a LoLT in schools, its use has
not disappeared. In fact, as other studies have shown, Setswana is prevalent in
Botswana classrooms (Arthur, 2001; Letsebe, 2002; Nyati-Ramahobo; 2004;
Magogwe, 2005; Molosiwa; 2006). Magogwe (2005: 1) states that many Botswana
students across all the levels of education are not proficient in the English language. It
is against this background that the current study will discuss the phenomenon of CS in
Botswana classrooms from both the points of view of educational and language
development.
1.2 THE PROBLEM AND ITS STATEMENT
1.2.1 The statement of the problem
Code-switching is an accepted phenomenon in the speech of bilinguals and
multilinguals in Botswana and has been accepted as a normal occurrence in utterances
made during social occasions, both formal and informal. However, it has not gained
the same recognition in educational settings despite its common occurrence. Teachers
and students at high school as well as lecturers and their students at university levels
often code switch from English – the LoLT -- to Setswana – the national language.
(This observation is based on the researcher’s experience as a lecturer in
Communication and Study Skills at the University of Botswana and as a teachingpractice supervisor in secondary schools).
Code-switching in schools is, however, a somewhat problematic phenomenon. It
appears, for instance, that from a theoretical perspective, the use of CS in educational
settings in Botswana may not be cases of CS. From a general perspective, CS socially
functions symbolically, thereby signalling speakers’ social identity (or some feature of
identity that a speaker may wish to convey) and speakers’ perception of the
conversational context in which they are operating. Code-switching does not function
as a means of conveying objective information. In schools, however, it appears that
8
CS is used more to repeat information than to convey objective information. A teacher
may, for instance, say:
•
Do you understand? A lo a tlhaloganya?
•
The assignment is due tomorrow. Tiro e tlisiwe ka moso.
In both examples, what the teacher says is exactly the same thing in two different
languages with no new information being given in the language to which he / she
switches. The teacher thus translates the English sentence into Setswana to ensure that
the learners understand and can follow the lesson, instead of conveying social
information.
The issues in this case are as follows:
• Is the phenomenon that occurs in Botswana classrooms really code-switching?
• Does it serve any useful purpose?
• Is it didactically justifiable?
A second problematic issue is that it appears that CS in educational settings in
Botswana takes place in violation of the Botswana Language-in-Education Policy
(LiEP), which states that English is the LoLT throughout the education system (NCE
2, 1993). Again the questions are:
•
Does the use of CS not demonstrate the lack of proficiency in English by both
the learners and their facilitators?
• Does it not prevent the educational system from functioning efficiently?
• Is it not possible for teachers to use the time more profitably by instructing the
learners in the language that the learners best understand, that is, Setswana?
There are clearly a number of matters that need careful investigation regarding the role
of CS in teaching and learning in the secondary schools in Botswana.
9
1.2.2 Problem analysis
The topic of this dissertation can be described in terms of several sub-problems. These
are:
•
The first sub-problem: Not enough is known about the didactic value of CS in
educational settings.
•
The second sub-problem: The occurrence of CS in a classroom situation
suggests a lack of proficiency in English as a Second Language (ESL) among
the learners and maybe also their teachers, and it is therefore problematic as a
LoLT.
•
The third sub-problem: CS from English to Setswana in a classroom situation
may be discriminatory against non-Setswana speakers.
•
The fourth sub-problem: The use of CS in the teaching and learning situation
seems to be in conflict with Botswana’s Language-in-Education Policy (LiEP).
•
The fifth sub-problem: The current LiEP of Botswana promotes English at the
expense of Setswana and does not promote knowledge acquisition and skills
development.
•
The sixth sub-problem: The use of CS in a classroom situation may waste
instruction time and slow down the pace of content delivery and learning.
1.3 THE RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Given the preceding list of sub-problems, the following research questions will be
asked in the proposed research:
1.3.1 What are the defining characteristics of the phenomenon of CS?
1.3.2 To what extent is CS used in educational settings in Botswana?
1.3.3 Can the phenomenon in the classrooms in Botswana be called CS?
10
1.3.4 What are the didactic consequences of CS in the schools? Is CS
educationally beneficial? Does the use of CS in a classroom situation slow
down the pace of teaching and learning to an extent that it is detrimental to
content coverage within the prescribed time?
1.3.5 Is the practice of CS from English to Setswana in a classroom situation
discriminatory to non-Setswana speakers?
1.3.6 Does the use of CS in a classroom situation violate Botswana’s LiEP? Is the
LiEP consistent with the practical realities of the classroom situation? If this
were to be the case, should the LiEP not be revised to ensure that the LoLT
promotes maximum delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills
development?
1.3.7 Does the current LiEP promote negative perceptions about Setswana and other
local languages?
1.4 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Although there are several studies which deal with CS in educational settings
(Adendorff, 1993; Moyo, 1996; Hussein, 1999; Moodley, 2001; Martin-Jones &
Saxena, 2001; Arthur, 2001; Akindele & Letsoela, 2001; Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain,
2004; and Letsebe, 2002), not enough attention has been given to the topic from
specifically a didactic point of view -- its nature in teaching and learning situations and
whether or not it is of any didactic value. In Botswana, for example, no
comprehensive study known to the researcher has investigated why CS takes place, and
what effect it has on education at senior secondary school level. This study proposes to
investigate this question. In addition, the study seeks to do the following:
•
establish if CS occurs in teaching and learning due to the lack of proficiency in
the LoLT by both the learners and their facilitators at secondary school level;
•
investigate to what extent the current LiEP in Botswana is being properly
implemented, whether English is a more effective LoLT and whether CS occurs
in the classroom as a result of poor implementation of the LiEP -- thus meaning
that the use of English as a LoLT is ineffective (Arthur, 2001).
•
establish whether the LiEP promotes educational development, which is
important for the self-esteem and the self-confidence of the learners; and
11
•
to determine whether the phenomenon that takes place in the classrooms of
Botswana can be rightly referred to as CS as universally defined.
1.5 STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
The study is divided into nine chapters, as follows:
Chapter One is the introductory part of the study and covers the background
information about the research topic. The chapter includes also the description of the
problem and its setting (the statement of the problem), the analysis of the problem,
research questions, the importance of the study, and how the study is organized.
Chapter Two gives a comprehensive review of the literature on CS in general, and CS
particularly in education. It is from this review that the theoretical framework that
informed this study was conceptualized. The review also included literature on
language planning, language policy and the current LiEP in Botswana that came into
effect in 1994 (Government White Paper on Revised National Policy on Education,
1994: 59).
Chapter Three discusses the research design as well as the methods that were used for
data collection, including preparations that were made in readiness for statistical
analysis of the data. Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING (Hymes, 1974), which is used
as the framework in the analysis of the qualitative data collected through lesson
observations, is also described.
Chapter Four presents an explanation of the statistical analysis of the data. Then the
quantitative analysis of the respondents’ (teachers and learners) demographic details is
presented. Then the differences and similarities between the data of the teachers and
those of the learners are highlighted.
Chapter Five deals with the presentation and analysis of the quantitative data obtained
from the teachers. The results are presented according to their statistical significance
or non-significance.
12
Chapter Six presents the results from the quantitative analysis of the learners’ data.
Like the teachers’ data, the learners’ responses are also presented according to their
statistical significance or non-significance whilst taking into account the effect size
because of the size of the learners’ sample.
Chapter Seven presents the results of the qualitative data collected through lesson
observations and then analyzed by the application of Hymes’ mnemonic of
SPEAKING.
Chapter Eight deals with the interpretation and discussion of the results. Both the
quantitative (Chapters Five and Six) and the qualitative data (Chapter Seven) are used
to answer the research questions. This is done to determine if the results obtained via
the two data-collection methods are in harmony with or contradictory to each other.
The literature reviewed in Chapter Two is used as the basis or framework for the
analysis of the results obtained. Within the conceptual framework set out in Chapter
Two, the main topic of the study, namely The role of CS in teaching and learning in
selected senior secondary schools in Botswana is discussed with respect to the
responses to the research questions. The LiEP of Botswana, in relation to the
phenomenon of CS, is also discussed.
Chapter Nine presents a summary of the study, conclusions and the recommendations
in relation to CS in the classroom and the LiEP of Botswana. The chapter is concluded
in the form of a discussion of the limitations of the study, and implications for further
research.
13
CHAPTER TWO
THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter will cover the theoretical framework within which this study will be
conducted. It includes the review of related literature that will inform the study.
Because this study is two-fold as it covers CS in the classroom and its effect on
teaching and learning, as well as the implications that it has on the Language in
Education Policy (LiEP) in Botswana, the following aspects will be discussed. An
historical overview of CS research; the definition of key concepts; a review of some
major studies in CS in general; some studies on CS in teaching and learning in
particular; and the social functions of CS. Furthermore, the review will also cover the
LiEP of Botswana, which will reveal the status of English in the education system in
relation to Setswana as a national language, as well as to other local languages. The
LiEP will be discussed within the framework of language planning; the functions of
language in human communication; and its role in education and educational
development.
2.2 HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF CS
CS as a speech phenomenon initially did not receive much attention from researchers
on bilingualism. It was merely regarded as interference in the speech of bilinguals
(Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 47). The earliest known study on CS was based on SpanishEnglish CS and carried out in the United States by Espinosa in 1917 (in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257). This study concluded that “… there was no rationale for
code-switching, and that code-switching was just a random mixture of the languages
available to a bilingual speaker” (Kamwangamalu, 1999: 250). Espinosa’s claim
received wide support over a long period of time, and continued to be ignored by
researchers. Even four decades later, researchers on bilingualism -- such as Haugen
(1950: 211, and Weinreich, 1953: 50, in Milroy & Muysken, 1995: 8), continued to
share Espinosa’s view on CS, and respectively wrote:
14
“… except in abnormal cases speakers have not been observed to draw freely
from languages at once. They may switch rapidly from one to the other, but at a
given moment they are speaking only one, even when they resort to the other for
instance. The introduction of elements from one language into the other means …
an alteration of the second language, not a mixture of the two”.
Haugen (1950: 211, in Milroy & Muysken, 1995)
“… a bilingual’s speech may suffer the interference of another vocabulary …, that
is, the limitations on the distribution of certain words to utterances belonging to
one language is violated. In affective speech, when the speaker’s attention is
almost completely diverted from the form of the message to its topic, the transfer
of words is particularly common”.
Weinreich (1953: 50, in Milroy and Muysken, 1995: 8)
Researchers did not believe that CS existed, and simply regarded it as an interference
phenomenon, the use of which demonstrated that the speaker was an imperfect
bilingual who could not conduct a conversation perfectly in the language that was
being used at that moment (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 47-48). Lance (1975, in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257), also studying Spanish-English CS in the United States
upheld Espinosa’s view and maintained that, “… bilinguals engage in CS because there
are no restrictions as to what they can or cannot mix in their speech”. However, this
myth has since been dispelled by successive researchers on CS and it is widely agreed
that CS occurrence is not random, but it is governed by linguistic and extra-linguistic
factors (Gumperz, 1982; Kachru, 1983, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257). Linguistic
factors refer to the bilingual speaker and the languages at his / her disposal. These
could be his / her attitude towards the codes available to him / her (Agheyisi, 1977, in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257), the use of CS as interjections, hesitation, false starts to
mark the discourse (Clyne, 1980, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257), and the bilingual
speaker’s level of competence in each of the codes he / she uses (Kachru, 1986, in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 257). Extra-linguistic factors include the participants in the
conversational exchange, the setting, what they are talking about and why they are
engaging in the speech interaction (Kamwangamalu, (Kamwangamalu, 1999: 258).
Therefore, CS is used to serve various communicative needs, later discussed under
social functions of CS (cf. 2.4).
15
Furthermore, the extra-linguistic factors are based on Blom and Gumperz’s notions of
situational CS or metaphorical CS to describe types of CS in the interactional approach
(Gumperz & Hymes, 1986: 409). The former (situational switching) involves change
in participants in the conversation or the strategies they use, or both, triggered by
factors external to the speaker’s own motivations. These may be the makeup of
participants in the conversation, the topic of discussion, and where the speech
interaction is taking place (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 52). The latter (metaphorical
switching) involves only a change in the emphasis of the topic (Gumperz and Hymes,
1986: 409). Further, metaphorical CS relates to particular kinds of topic or subject
matters discussed by the same participants in the same setting (Gumperz & Hymes,
1986). Myers-Scotton (1993a: 52) adds that metaphorical CS does not necessarily
refer to CS that takes place owing to a change in topic alone, but also to the selfpresentation of the speaker in relation to the topic being discussed or to changes in
relationship to other speakers partaking in the speech interaction. Therefore, in
metaphorical CS, the participants remain the same but the switch from one language to
the other depends on what the participants are talking about (topic or subject matter),
as well as how they perceive one another in relation to the topic under discussion.
Although this approach has been criticized by scholars such as Auer (1984), Scotton
(1983a: 119; 1983b: 121, in Myers-Scotton, 1993a), and Pride (1979, in MyersScotton, 1993a) for its lack of clarity in defining the two notions (situational switching
and metaphorical switching) as well as differentiating between strategies and topical
emphasis (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 52), it nonetheless laid a foundation for CS research.
It positively influenced other sociolinguistic researchers to acknowledge that “CS does
not demonstrate lack of fluency in any of the languages involved (Myers-Scotton,
1993a: 74). The Markedness Model (MM) (discussed in the next section) of MyersScotton (1988, in Myers-Scotton, 1993a), based on the interactional approach, was
influenced by the two notions of situational and metaphorical CS. In the interactional
approach, CS is viewed as a contextualization cue, meaning the following:
“It [code-switching] signals contextual information equivalent to what in
monolingual settings is conveyed through prosody or other syntactic or lexical
processes. It generates the presuppositions in terms of which the content of what
is said is decoded”.
16
(Gumperz, 1982 in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60)
This implies that in the interactional approach, CS is one of the discourse strategies
that bilingual and multilingual speakers can employ to perform different social
functions such as to negotiate, challenge, or change different conversational situations
(Kieswetter, 1995: 2). It is a dynamic conversational strategy that constantly changes
according to the participants, the situation, the context and the intentions of the
speakers (Kieswetter, 1995: 6) that speakers can employ to meet a number of
identifiable communicative needs such as to express confidentiality (Gumperz, 1982,
in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60; Kieswetter, 1995; Tshinki, 2002), in-group membership
or solidarity (Kieswetter, 1995; Moodley, 2001; Tshinki, 2002) and modernization
(Kamwangamalu, 1992, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 258; Kieswetter, 1995; Tshinki,
2002).
Scholars now agree that CS is a common phenomenon in the speech of bilingual and
multilingual speakers in many places, and that it ‘does not indicate lack of competence
on the part of the speaker in any of the languages concerned, but results from complex
bilingual skills’ (Auer, 1984: 1; Kieswetter, 1995; Milroy & Muysken, 1995; MyersScotton, 1993a). They further argue that although some people may view CS as a
product of language shift -- defined by Kembo-Sure and Webb (2000: 113) as a
process whereby members of a speech community abandon the use of one language for
certain functions and adopt the other), CS can also be part of the daily lives of many
‘stable’ bilingual populations (Kieswetter, 1995; Myers-Scotton, 1993a). The
following examples (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 1) illustrate the use of CS by speakers
fluent in both languages:
ƒ
Bilinguals of Hispanic origin in Texas who may switch between Spanish and
English in informal in-group conversations;
ƒ
Senegalese bilinguals who may switch between Wolof and French;
ƒ
Swiss bilinguals who may switch between Swiss German and French;
ƒ
a physician of Punjabi-origin in England who may switch between Punjabi and
English;
ƒ
a businessman of Lebanese-origin in Michigan who may switch between his
home language and English; and
17
ƒ
a corporate executive of Chinese-origin in Singapore who may switch between
his first language and English.
These examples indicate that CS is a national and international phenomenon that
occurs in the speech of bilingual and multilingual speakers, and that it cuts across
social, racial, age and professional spectra. Further, as long as the speakers share the
same linguistic repertoire, they may engage in CS whether discussing social or
professional matters. Since the speakers in each case have a good command of both
languages that they are employing, they move freely between them in their speech.
Most of the researchers on CS in Africa treated CS as a social phenomenon and
focused mainly on its pragmatic and syntactic aspects (Kamwangamalu 1999: 257;
2000: 59). As a result, many of their studies will a have limited effect on the present
study because its main focus is on the didactic significance of CS in the classroom.
However, three models (each discussed below) namely the Markedness Model (MM)
of Myers-Scotton (Kamwangamalu, 2000; Mandubu, 1999; Myers-Scotton, 1993a), the
Matrix Language Frame (MLF) of Myers-Scotton (Myers-Scotton, 1995: 235, in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 268) and the Matrix Language Principle (MLP) of
Kamwangamalu (1990, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 268) are a result of CS research in
Africa and will form the theoretical framework of the current study owing to their
interactional nature.
2.2.1
The Markedness Model (MM)
The MM claims that all linguistic choices, including CS, are indications of the social
negotiation of rights and obligations that exist between participants in a conversational
exchange (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Mandubu, 1999: 8; Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 75).
This implies that a linguistic choice made for a conversational exchange is determined
by what is prominent about the situational exchange. This could be the status of the
participants in the conversational exchange, the topic they are discussing, or even the
place in which the conversational exchange is taking place (Kamwangamalu, 2000:
61). It is the combined effect of the situational features as well as the individual
speaker’s considerations that determine the type of linguistic choice that is regarded as
appropriate for a given conversational situation or topic.
18
The MM allows CS to perform three main functions, namely CS as an unmarked
choice, a marked choice and an exploratory choice (Kamwangamalu, 2000; Mandubu,
1999; Myers-Scotton, 1993a). First, when CS is an unmarked choice in a given
conversational situation, it is the expected choice. It is employed as a communicative
strategy in a given linguistic exchange so as to serve a particular communicative
function, usually that of inclusion. There are two sub-types that fall under this
category of CS – CS as a sequence of unmarked choices or CS as an unmarked choice.
The former occurs as a result of a change in the situational factors during a
conversational exchange. In the latter, situational factors hardly change during a
conversational exchange (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 114).
Second, CS as a marked choice occurs when it is an unexpected choice to indicate the
social distance among the participants in a given conversational situation. In such a
case, CS is used to exclude deliberately some members present in a conversational
situation. The speaker switches to a language that he / she knows will only be
understood by a certain section of the audience. However, depending on the situation,
CS as a marked choice may be used also to “include” other members of the audience
present. For instance, Kamwanagamalu (2000: 62) cites instances during political
gatherings or diplomatic meetings when CS is used to express oneness and solidarity
with a minority section of the audience; for example Kofi Annan (the former UN
Secretary General)’s use of French-English CS at the UN to “ include” Franco-phone
countries, Nelson Mandela (former and first democratically elected President of the
Republic of South Africa) and Margaret Thatcher (former and first female Prime
Minister of Britain)’s English-Afrikaans CS at meetings with the Afrikaners of South
Africa. Third, CS as an exploratory choice implies that the speaker initiates a
conversation in one language, and if the party being addressed does not fully
understand, CS takes place. The speaker switches to the most likely language that is
intelligible to both parties. CS as an exploratory choice is used where there is some
degree of uncertainty about the choice of a mutual language.
The MM was criticized for some shortcomings (Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997 c: 132133; Kamwangamalu 2000: 63-64; Slabbert & Finlayson, 1999). It does not, for
instance, explain why the speakers engaged in CS exchange would not conform to the
societal norms or why a speaker would want to increase or decrease the social distance
19
between him / her and the other speaker (Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997: 132).
Kamwangamalu (2000: 62) described the MM as ‘static’ regarding its functions in
multilingual communities and that the premise on which it was based (negotiation of
identities, rights and obligations) was too narrow to account for the social functions of
CS in the African context. He further argued that not all CS involved the negotiation
of identities, rights and obligations; and that, at times, CS can be used to achieve
political gains as observed by Heller (1992; 1995, in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 64).
In a classroom situation, the objective is not to exclude any learner from the learning
process, but to include him / her. Therefore, CS as an unmarked choice (not CS as a
sequence of unmarked choices) appears to be applicable, but CS as a marked choice in
a learning process seems an unlikely occurrence. Again CS as an exploratory choice
seems possible because the objective is to use the language that learners understand
better. The applicability or non-applicability of the MM to the present study will be
examined against the data that will be collected.
2.2.2 The Matrix Language Frame model (MLF)
The MLF model based on the interactional approach (Auer, 1984) was first conceived
by Myers-Scotton and Azuma (1989, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 268) and MyersScotton (1993b; 1995, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 268). It distinguishes between the
Matrix Language (ML) and the Embedded Language (EL). The ML is the main
language that plays the dominant role in CS and is also known as the ‘host language’,
while the EL (also known as the ‘guest language’) takes on the morphological and
phonological structure of the ML in CS.
The following are examples of the aforementioned:
siSwati-English CS
(CS form): Tennis association i-discuss-ile le problem ku meeting yabo …
(English): The tennis association discussed that problem at their last meeting.
(Kamwangamalu, 1994: 75)
20
Setswana-English CS
Tennis association e-discuss-itse problem ele ko meeting wa bone.
Discussed
that problem at
theirs.
In the example above, siSwati and Setswana are the MLs and English is the EL in each
case. First, the word order ‘meeting yabo’ and ‘meeting wa bone’ follows siSwati and
Setswana word order, but not that of English. Translated literally, these phrases equate
to ‘meeting their’, which is not grammatically acceptable in English, as a pronoun for
possession should precede a noun. Therefore, in English, the word order would be
‘their meeting’. Second, the verb ‘discussed’ in the code-switched sentences assumes
the morphological structure of siSwati and Setswana, not that of English. Thus siSwati
and Setswana as MLs licence how CS should occur. Their internal constituent
structures remain unchanged while those of English (EL) are adapted.
Instances of CS stated above, are examples of intra-sentential CS, and are often
mistaken for borrowing. Both concepts are discussed in detail later (cf. 2.3.1a and
2.3.3 below) to make a distinction between them.
2.2.3 The Matrix Language Principle (MLP)
The MLP is very similar to the MLF. Both models state that in a CS situation, the
language that determines how CS occurs is the ML and the follows the morphological
and phonological structure of the EL will follow that of the ML. The MLP essentially
states that ‘… in a code-switching structure only the matrix language will determine
the acceptability/unacceptability of any participating constituent [from the embedded
language] (Kamwangamalu, 1994: 74 in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 268).
Kamwangamalu (1989a, 1990, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 267) came up with the MLP,
(later the Matrix Code Principle). The MLP states that in CS, there is one language
that is the ML, and the other language that is the EL. It is the ML that licenses how the
EL will be employed in CS. As a result, the morphosyntactic structure of the EL is
affected, while that of the ML remains unchanged. Therefore, any use of linguistic
items from the EL must be determined by the morphosyntactic structure of the ML
(Kamwangamalu, 1999: 269-270).
21
Kamwangamalu (1994) demonstrated the applicability of the MLP by using examples
of siSwati-English CS and Swahili-English CS. In all instances, it was evident that in
CS the syntactic structure of the dominant language (siSwati or Swahili) is preserved
while that of the guest language or the EL (English) is adapted. Therefore, the internal
constituent structure of the guest language (English) has to conform to the constituent
structure of the host language (siSwati). In addition, CS was possible between a bound
morpheme and a lexical form without the lexical form being phonologically integrated
into the language bound as a morpheme. This is possible in CS between many Bantu
languages (including Setswana) and a guest language such as English or French.
Using CS examples between many Bantu languages and English or French,
Kamwangamalu (1999: 264) demonstrated that a complementizer of a complement
clause and the matrix verb need not come from the same language.
The MLP remains unchallenged, and having been developed from the African context
and empirically tested on CS involving several Bantu languages, it will inform the
current study, which also examines CS between English and Setswana (also a Bantu
language) in a classroom situation. The data gathered through classroom observations
will be examined syntactically and morphologically to confirm their conformity to the
MLP model.
The theoretical framework also includes Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING. This
model will be used as a basis for the analysis of the qualitative data obtained through
classroom observation. The model was developed to promote the analysis of discourse
as a series of speech events and speech acts within a cultural context (Hymes, 1974: 54
– 60). The model assumed its name from the features of the speech event namely,
Setting (Scene), Participant and audience, Ends, Act sequence, Key, Instrumentalities,
Norms and Genre. Each of the features, as well as how the model is used, will be
explained in detail in the next chapter which deals with the methodology of the study.
2.3 DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS
Having given an overview of CS research and the theoretical framework of the study,
as well as the nature of the study, it is important to define the key concepts (with
examples) that will be used throughout this study to demonstrate any relationship that
22
may exist between them. From the literature review, it is difficult to precisely
differentiate between these concepts which are: CS and its three sub-types, namely
intra-sentential CS; inter-sentential CS; tag-like / emblematic CS; and borrowing, with
its three types namely nonce borrowing; borrowing proper; and re-borrowing.
However, a discussion of each will follow that will result in definitions that will apply
in this study.
2.3.1 CS
Before discussing the definition of CS as given by various scholars, it is important to
examine the two words which make up this concept, namely ‘code’ and ‘switch(-ing)’.
It is on the basis of the meanings of the two words that the definition of CS, as defined
by the different scholars, can be examined in conjunction with examples to illustrate
the meaning and use of CS.
According to the Collins Concise Dictionary of the English Language (1988: 214), a
‘code’ is defined as “… a system of letters or symbols by which information can be
communicated secretly, briefly”; while the Oxford Companion to the English
Language (1992: 228) defines a code as “… a system of communication, spoken or
written, such as a language, dialect or variety”. In this study, the latter definition will
be used. ‘Switching’ is defined as “shifting, changing, turning aside, or changing the
direction of (something)”; or “to exchange (places); replace (something by something
else)” (The Collins Concise Dictionary of the English Language, 1988: 1194). Again,
it is the latter alternative, ‘replace’ that will be used here. Therefore, putting the two
words together, ‘code’ and ‘switching’, CS refers to a situation in which linguistic
forms of a language / language variety are replaced by forms from another language /
language variety in a single communicative event, be it spoken or written. The
definition above will be used as a basis to examine the definitions of CS as given by
different scholars.
CS has been defined by scholars such as Auer, 1984: 1; Myers-Scotton, 1993a;
Kieswetter, 1995; Milroy and Muysken, 1995; Kamwangamalu, 1997: 45; 2000;
Heredia and Altarriba, 2001: 164; Li, 2002: 164; Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain, 2004:
502); as “… the alternate use of two or more languages in the same conversation,
23
usually within the same conversational turn, or within the same sentence or within the
same sentence of that turn.”
The definition above implies that in any CS situation, there must be at least two
languages employed, either within the same sentence or within the same conversational
turn. However, the definition does not include the alternate use of a variety of the
same language. Therefore the definition above is by no means exhaustive of all that
CS entails, and is therefore inadequate.
Examples
1. Ngitshele mngane how long did you practice? (Tell me my friend …)
Zulu (Kieswetter, 1995: 81).
2. Mpolelela tsala … ? (Tell me my friend …) Setswana translation.
3. Inakuwa maana yake they go against their wishes … (This is …
because …) Swahili (Mkilifi, 1978: 140, in Kamwangamalu, 1997: 47)
In the examples above, the speaker starts off a sentence in one language, in this case,
his / her mother tongue, and then switches over to English. Thus, in every codeswitched speech there must be at least two languages or language varieties employed
by the speaker which show his / her ability to express himself / herself in both.
Myers-Scotton (1993a: 4) talks of what she refers to as a more “technical and more
explicit definition of CS: “…code-switching is the selection by bilinguals or
multilinguals of forms from an embedded language (or languages) in utterances of a
matrix language during the same conversation”.
The definition above implies that the examples cited above, in each case, Zulu,
Setswana and Swahili are MLs, and English is the embedded language
(Kamwangamalu, 1997; Kamwangamalu, 1999; Myers-Scotton, 1993a). Thus in CS
utterance, there must be the ML and the EL within the same conversations in which the
speakers are engaged. Both definitions above refer to the use of CS in a social setting.
Kamwangamalu (1999: 268) states that, “In code-switching there necessarily is one
language, the matrix language, whose morphosyntactic structure determines what
24
linguistic elements of the other language, the embedded language, can be and how they
should be code-switched”. This implies that it is the morpho-syntactic structure of the
ML that determines how CS can take place because the morpho-syntactic structure of
the EL elements should conform to it. Often the speaker’s first language is the ML
(main language), such as Setswana, and the embedded language is the guest language,
which usually has a lesser role in CS, such as English in Setswana / English CS. The
use of linguistic items from the EL is determined by the morpho-syntactic structure of
the matrix language as illustrated in the following examples of CS between siSwati and
English, and between Swahili and English (Kamwangamalu (1994: 73) :
siSwati: Kule conversation yabo ba-address-a liciniso concerning le-situation.
Literal translation: In conversation theirs they …
English: In their conversation they address the truth concerning the situation.
Swahili: Kulikulwa na TABLE LONG namna hii, maze, imejaa tu chakula ya kila
aina.
Literal translation: There was a table long like this, my friend, …
English: There was a long table like this, my friend, just full of food of every sort.
In the two examples above, the constituent structure of EL is ‘violated’, while those of
siSwati and Swahili are followed. The grammar rule for English is that, when forming
a noun phrase, a determiner or adjective precedes a head noun, but in siSwati and
Swahili, a determiner or adjective follows a head noun. For instance, in siSwati, it is
correct to say ‘conversation yabo’ that directly translates to ‘conversation theirs’ in
English, which is ungrammatical in English. The correct word order should rather be
‘their conversation’. Similarly, in Swahili, the word order ‘table long’ from the
example is acceptable, but in English it is a ‘long table’. Similarly, in Setswana, the
same word order as that of siSwati and Swahili will apply, as illustrated in the example
below:
Setswana: Mo conversationeng ya bone ba address-a nnete concerning the situation.
Literal translation: In conversation theirs they address truth …
English: In their conversation they address the truth concerning the situation.
25
In the example above, as in the previous examples, English is the guest language
whose internal constituent structure is ‘not followed’, but that of Setswana is
preserved. In Setswana ‘–eng’ marks the adverb of place if affixed to a noun like
‘conversation’, but in English the adverb is marked by the phrase ‘in their’ preceding
the noun ‘conversation’. Similarly, in English, verbs are not formed by affixing ‘–a,
which denotes action if affixed to a verb stem. Such formation is rather found in
Setswana, hence the noun ‘address-a’. Therefore, what takes place in CS
grammatically is determined by Setswana as the ML and English as an EL follows the
constituent structure rules of Setswana. The result is that the morphosyntactic structure
of the ML is preserved, while that of the EL is not followed, since its constituent
structure must conform to the constituent structure of the ML.
The definitions of CS discussed above are very similar because they all state that in CS
at least two languages are involved. However, the second and third definitions by
Myers-Scotton (1993a) and Kamwangamalu (1999) are more comprehensive in that
they further state that one of the two languages involved in CS is the ML, and the other
is the EL. The first definition is much more general because it does not indicate the
role of each of the two languages involved in CS, therefore assuming that both
languages play an equal role in CS. However, all three the definitions do not mention
that CS may also involve varieties of a language, yet the original study on CS by
Gumperz and Hymes (1986) involved two dialects of the same language.
It therefore appears that from the evidence presented by different scholars, CS occurs:
a. within the same speech event;
b. there must be at least two languages employed within the same speech event;
c. the speaker(s) who engage(s) in CS may be competent bilinguals or
multilinguals; in that they can speak both languages fluently;
d. one language is the ML (main language of the interaction) and the other is the
EL (guest language); and
e. the morpho-syntactic structure of the ML determines how the linguistic
elements of the EL should be used in the utterance; such that the morphosyntactic structure of the former is preserved while that of the latter is violated;
and
26
f. as a result, the internal constituent structure of the EL conforms to the
constituent structure of the ML.
Having discussed the views of other scholars on what constitutes CS, the following
definition will be applied in the present study: ‘The alternate use of forms from at least
two languages, or varieties of the same language, one matrix, the other embedded, in
the same sentence or within the same conversational turn’.
As previously mentioned, CS is said to occur in three different forms in utterances. It
may occur as: intra-sentential CS, inter-sentential CS, and tag-like switches or what is
termed emblematic CS. A discussion of each type of CS is presented below:
a. Intra-sentential CS
According to Myers-Scotton (1993a: 4), intra-sentential CS involves using a single
morpheme, phrase or clause along with words, phrases, and clauses from another
language within the same sentence. This could be a verb phrase within the same
constituent, a verb phrase complement or even a prepositional phrase, which are entire
constituents. Myers-Scotton (1993a: 5) illustrates intra-sentential CS with the
following examples from a conversation conducted mainly in Swahili (the lingua
franca of Kenya) in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya; and another conversation conducted
mainly in Shona (one of the two dominant languages in Zimbabwe). It should be noted
that concerning the English-Swahil CS, Myers-Scotton (1993 a) obtained her data from
Kenya where CS of this nature is rampant.
In both instances below, the intra-sentential switches are to English:
Example 1
Swahili: Hello, guys, shule zitafunguliwa lini?
English: Hello, guys, when will the schools be opened?
Swahili: Na Kwedi, hata mimi si-ko sure lakini n-a suspect i-ta-kuwa week kesho.
English: Well, even I am not sure, but I suspect it will be next week.
In Example 1, (si-ko) sure, week, and (na)-suspect are intra-sentential switches as
they appear in the same sentence as elements from the ML.
27
Example 2
Shona: Manje hazvibvumirwe waona. Unofanirwa kupedza one year uinanyo motor
yacho. Wozotegesa after one year.
English: That is not allowed, you see. You should spend one year with that car. Then
you can sell it after one year.
In Example 2, the English verb phrase complement ‘one year’ and the prepositional
phrase ‘after one year’ are used within the sentence, which is mainly in Shona. In
both examples, Swahili and Shona are the MLs, while English is the EL.
From the examples above, it is clear that intra-sentential CS is self-explanatory; it
occurs within a sentence and that the code-switched form must be in a form of a phrase
from an EL and the independent clause must be from the ML.
The following definition of intra-sentential CS will be used in the current study: ‘Intrasentential CS is the use of a verb or a verb phrase, or a verb phrase complement or
even a prepositional phrase, or a noun phrase that takes place from the matrix language
to the embedded language within a single sentence’.
In the present study, the data gathered will be examined to determine whether the
phenomenon that occurs in the classrooms in Botswana conforms to the observations
made above about CS and can consequently be referred to as CS in education. Its
causes, its role in education, and the effects it has on teaching and learning will also be
investigated.
b. Inter-sentential CS
According to Akindele and Letsoela (2001); Moyo (1996); and Myers-Scotton (1993a),
inter-sentential CS occurs when the speaker, after he / she has completed a sentence in
one language, switches to another language in the next sentence, as illustrated in the
following examples demonstrating CS between English and Setswana:
Example
The University has closed for Christmas. Etla bulwa gape ngwaga e tlang.
The University has closed for Christmas. It will reopen next year.
28
Many scholars (Kamwangamalu, 2000; Khati, 1992; Myers-Scotton, 1993a; Poplack,
1980, in Kamwangamalu, 2000) agree that inter-sentential CS is a clear form of codeswitching and is the main form of CS. The researcher also shares the same view
because as its name signifies, inter-sentential CS is characterized by switches between
independent sentences, one in the ML, and the other in the EL in the same
conversation. However, the ML remains identifiable as the conversation will mainly
take place in it.
Based on the above, the following definition of inter-sentential CS will apply in the
current study: ‘Inter-sentential CS is switching that takes place from the ML to the EL
at sentential level within the same conversational turn’.
c. Tag-like or emblematic CS
Poplack (1980, in Khati, 1992: 183) defines tag-like or emblematic CS as “… a switch
that involves the use of single words, tags and idiomatic expressions from one
language in another”.
Poplack (1980)’s definition was quoted by successive scholars such as Appel and
Muysken, 1987: 118, in Gila, 1995: 10; Nwoye, 1993: 369, in Moodley, 2001: 8; and
Tshinki, 2002: 73. To better understand what constitutes tag-like / emblematic CS,
definitions of the two words ‘tag’ and ‘emblematic’ are necessary. According to the
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of current English (1995: 1214), a tag is a label
or device attached to something; or, in linguistics, a tag is a word or phrase that is
added to a sentence for emphasis. Similarly, the Collins Cobuild Dictionary (1987:
1487) defines a tag as a very short clause at the end of a statement that changes the
statement into a question. From the two definitions given, it is clear that a tag appears
at the end of a sentence.
‘Emblematic’ refers to something that serves as a symbol (Oxford Advanced Learner’s
Dictionary of current English, 1995: 376). Therefore, emblematic CS would refer to
symbolic CS that is used to symbolize something or to show a particular meaning.
On the basis of the definitions of the two words ‘tag’ and ‘emblematic’, the following
will be used in this study as a definition of tag-like or emblematic CS: ‘… a switch in
29
the form of a single word or phrase (from) the guest language attached at the end of a
sentence that is primarily coined in the matrix language in order to convey a specific
meaning or to (convey) symbolize a particular meaning’.
The following example shows the use of tag-switching in a sentence. The speaker
starts the sentence in Setswana but attaches a tag-like switch (in English) at the end of
the sentence to show emphasis or to symbolize that he / she is soliciting the opinion of
the addressee.
Example 1
Setswana: Go botlhokwa go dira ka natla nako tsotlhe, isn’t it?
English: It is important to work hard at all times, isn’t it?
While Poplack (1980)’s definition operated as the standard definition of tag-like or
emblematic CS for a long time, it is inadequate because it gives the impression that
both languages involved in CS play an equal role. The current definition given above
therefore explicitly states that the sentence in which tag-like / emblematic CS occurs,
appears in the ML, and the tag that is used in the switch is in the guest language.
Gila (1995: 10) gives the following as an example of a tag-like switch in CS between
Xhosa and English:
Example 2
Xhosa: … so unokothukaxa enokuva kusithwailizwe liphelile.
English: … so he should be shocked to hear that the world has ended.
The speaker is Xhosa, starts his / her conversation in Xhosa, the ML, then switches to
English through the use of ‘so’, implying that English is EL and then switches back to
Xhosa to complete the sentence. However, in the researcher’s view, this is inconsistent
with the meaning of a tag. ‘So’ in the example above appears medially, not finally,
and therefore it cannot be regarded as tag-like switch. The researcher is inclined to
regard this as an example of intra-sentential CS. This type of switching (intrasentential CS) is also possible between Setswana and English, as illustrated in the
following example:
30
Example 3
Setswana: Ke a otsela because ke robetse bosigo.
English: I am feeling sleepy because I slept late.
In the example above, the speaker is Setswana speaking, starts his/her sentence in
Setswana (ML), switches to English (EL) by using because, and back to Setswana to
complete the sentence. Some scholars, for example Kamwangamalu (2000) regard the
use of because in this way as a form of nonce borrowing (cf. 2.3.5 below) and not CS.
However, using the definition of social integration as a function of the degree of
consisitency, regularity, and frequency with which linguistic items from one language
are used in discourse in another language, in a given context (Hasselmo, 1972: 180, in
Kamwangamalu, 2000: 91), the researcher is inclined to treat the use of because in the
sentence above as a form of CS and not nonce borrowing. Because cannot be regarded
as being socially integrated as is the case with nonce-borrowed words; it is an example
of CS since it is not socially integrated.
According to Poplack (1980 in Khati, 1992: 183), tag-switches are true types of CS
because their use is an application of foreign language elements in an utterance made
in another language (in this case Setswana-English CS as in Example 1 above); and
that their use does not necessarily imply that a speaker is conversant with the foreign
language. Although the researcher (from experience), is inclined to agree with
Poplack’s observation, in Example 1 above, the use of a tag-like / emblematic switch
does not reflect a lack of proficiency in English by the users because the tag-switches
have been appropriately used. Other scholars before Poplack, such as Elias-Olivares
(1976), in Khati (1992: 182-3) did not consider what Gila (1995: 10) refers to as a tagswitch (as in Example 2 above) as a type of CS, but as examples of ‘nonce borrowing’
(defined and discussed later in this section). However, the researcher shares the same
view as Poplack, namely that tag-like / emblematic switches are a form of CS because
their use does not imply that they have no equivalents in the ML. A speaker may use
them unconsciously or consciously, and if they are not comprehensible to a
monolingual speaker, they can be easily replaced with equivalents in the language that
the monolingual speaker understands. Furthermore, tag-like switches normally appear
finally in a sentence.
31
2.3.2 Code-mixing (CM)
Another concept important in this study is CM, which Wardhaugh (1992: 106 and
Bokamba, 1988: 24, in Moodley, 2001: 9) define as: ‘… the deliberate mixing of
various linguistic units such as affixes, words, phrases and clauses from two (or more)
languages within the same sentence, in the course of a single utterance, without an
associated change in topic’.
The definition above seems to refer to intra-sentential CS and not CM since the latter
refers to a variety that consists of elements from different languages.
Kieswetter (1995: 22) defines CM as: “… the use of morphemes from more than one
language variety within the same word or as … linguistic units which contain
morphemes from both languages within single words which have not been lexically,
phonologically and morphologically integrated into the host language”. For example:
1. ama-lady (Zulu form for ladies) (Kieswetter, 1995: 34)
2. uku-solve-a (Zulu form meaning to solve) (Kieswetter, 1995: 36)
3. Go-solve-a (Setswana form meaning to solve)
Looking at the examples given above, it appears that even though Kieswetter’s first
definition mentions that CM involves more than one language variety (Kieswetter,
1995: 22), in the first sentence two languages not varieties of one language are
involved. What takes place in the first sentence is more a case of borrowing, than CM.
Sentences two and three are examples of intra-sentential CS as previously explained
(cf. 2.3.1 b) and not CM. Kieswetter’s definition is in harmony with what takes place
in borrowing and in intra-sentential CS. In the first example, elements from two
languages (Zulu and English) have been employed to build a word made up of two
morphemes in order to come up with a new word (ama-lady) in the ML (Zulu). This is
an example of borrowing although the EL can still be recognized from the verb stem.
The second definition is more in tune with what takes place in CM than the first one.
However, Kieswetter’s definition falls short of mentioning that CM is a new variety of
a speech community such as Pretoria Sotho, which is a mix of languages such as
Sesotho, Setswana, Sepedi, and Afrikaans. IsiSoweto is another example of CM that is
32
a mix of Setswana, isiZulu and other languages spoken by different speech
communities living in Soweto. CM is usually an urban variety of a given language
such as urban Setswana spoken in Gaborone, especially among the youth, and is a mix
of Setswana and English as illustrated in the example below:
a. Go-sharpo fela
b. It is just fine, or: it is just okay.
The phrase ‘go-sharpo’ above is made up of Setswana morpheme ‘go’, its English
equivalent is ‘to’ or ‘it is’ in this case, and ‘sharpo’, which originates from the English
word ‘sharp’ but with the ‘-o’ affixed to it to adapt the word to a Setswana verb
formation in a conversation. This phrase is used to mean ‘it is just fine’ or ‘everything
is okay’ and has come to be accepted in spoken speech among the youth, however, it is
restricted to spoken speech only.
The first definition above by Bokamba (1988: 24 and Wardhaugh, 1992: 106, in
Moodley, 2001: 9) is all encompassing. It entails mixing affixes, words, phrases, and
clauses within the same sentence. While CM takes place when affixes are mixed to
form a word, the same cannot be said when words, phrases or even clauses are mixed
within the same sentence. This is more consistent with what occurs in CS. Therefore,
the definition by Bokamba (1988) and Wardhaugh (1992) is a mixture of what occurs
in both CM and CS. In the present study, the definition of CM by Kieswetter (1995)
will be applied, with modification, as follows: ‘… Code-mixing refers to the use of
morphemes from two languages (one the ML; the other the EL) to form a new word in
a new variety of a speech community’.
Myers-Scotton (1993a) used CS as a cover term for both CS and CM but distinguished
the type of CS by labelling one intra-sentential CS and the other inter-sentential CS.
The same practice was also followed by other scholars such as Akindele and Letsoela
(2001), Kamwangamalu (2000) and Moyo (1996).
However, looking at the definitions of the two concepts and their respective examples
in different languages as illustrated earlier, in the present study, as in Bokamba (1988)
and Herbert (1994, in Kieswetter, 1995: 18-19); and Kieswetter (1995), CS and CM
33
will be treated as two separate phenomena. Both are a result of linguistic interaction
and language contact, which also allow the speaker to coin a new word by prefixing or
suffixing a morpheme from the ML onto the stem of the EL. While CM involves the
‘consistent’ use of a variety that consists of elements from different languages, in intrasentential CS, a speaker may switch between languages or varieties of the same
languages within the same sentence by using either a verb, or a verb phrase
complement, or a noun phrase or even a prepositional phrase, as illustrated in examples
1 and 2 below. At times instances of intra-sentential CS, such as example 2 below can
also be treated as an example of borrowing (which will be discussed later in this
section). Example 3 illustrates an instance of inter-sentential CS from Setswana to
English.
Example 1
Ke intend-a go-solve-a di-problems tsa bone (intra-sentential CS).
I intend to solve their problems (English).
Example 2:
Ke rata go apaya exotic dishes fa ke nale baeng. (intra-sentential CS)
(Setswana and English).
I like to prepare exotic dishes whenever I have visitors (English).
Example 3
Ke ne ke ba solofetse. Yet they did not arrive. (inter-sentential CS: Setswana and
English).
I had expected them. Yet they did not arrive. (English).
Example 4
Go sharp-o go s’gela ko versity (CM).
It is okay to study at the university (English).
Example 4 above illustrates an instance of CM. Three languages are code-mixed in the
sentence namely, Setswana, Zulu and English. The phrase ‘go-sharpo’ has been
explained already and is a result of code-mixing morphemes from Setswana and
English. Similarly, ‘go- s’gela’ is made up of Setswana morpheme go- whose English
34
equivalent is ‘to’; ‘sgela’ has its origin from the Zulu word ‘ngena’ which means
‘come in’ or ‘go into’ in English. In Setswana the equivalent expression of ‘to attend
school’ or ‘to go to school’ is go tsena sekolo. Therefore, ‘go s’gela’ is a result of
code-mixing the following: Setswana prefix ‘go’, s’- is a short form of se- which is a
prefix of the Setswana word sekolo whose English equivalent is school; ‘-gela’ is the
adapted form of the Zulu verb ‘ngena’ but it has been ‘lexicalized’ such that it sounds
more like a Setswana word than Zulu, hence ‘s’gela’ and not ‘s’gena’. Therefore, ‘go
s’gela’ is translated as ‘to attend (school)’. In addition, ‘ko’ is a Setswana preposition
that equates to ‘at’ in English. The word ‘versity’ is a short form for ‘university’ and
its use is restricted to spoken communication; in written communication, its use is rare
except in note-taking / note-making. Example 4 above demonstrates language use that
is typical of a specific social group, usually the urban youth, because of the
cosmopolitan nature of urban centres where people of different language backgrounds
live in search of jobs and other opportunities.
Bokamba (1988, in Kieswetter, 1995) observed that CM, like CS, commonly occurs in
the speech of bilingual and multilingual speakers. However, from the definitions
adopted in the current study, the main distinctive feature between the two concepts is
that CM is a variety adopted by a speech community for communication purposes that
have resulted from extensive language contact -- defined by Kembo-Sure & Webb
(2000: 113) as a process whereby members of a speech community abandon the use of
one language for certain functions and adopt another, but CS involves the use of at
least two languages or varieties of the same language at the same time -- usually as a
result of competence in both languages or language varieties. While CS is a common
phenomenon in the speech of bilingual and multilingual speakers, CM is associated
more with monolingual speakers than with bilingual or multilingual speakers, however,
in some places such as in South African townships, for example Soweto, CM can also
be a speech phenomenon even among bilinguals / multilinguals because of the
historical background of such settlements.
2.3.3 Borrowing
Borrowing is another key concept in the discussion of contact phenomena in language
use. Bokamba (1988) and Herbert (1994) (respectively quoted in Kieswetter, 1995:
35
13-14 and 18-19) referred to borrowing as follows: ‘… where … words or phrases
(from another language) are assimilated phonologically, morphologically and
syntactically into the host language.
The definition above is silent on lexical assimilation, yet it is important because the
borrowed word become integrated in the lexicons of the borrowing language.
Gumperz (1986: 66, in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 89) defines borrowing as: “… the
introduction of single words or short, frozen, idiomatic phrases from one language into
another”.
The two definitions above acknowledge that, in borrowing, two languages are involved
-- one as a borrowing language -- and another as a loaning language. The linguistic
units from the loaning language may be assimilated into the grammatical structure of
the borrowing language such that they become accepted as part of such grammar. The
first definition by Bokamba (1988) and Herbert (1994) (respectively quoted in
Kieswetter, 1995: 13–14 and 18–19) will be adopted in this study to refer to
‘borrowing proper’ because it mentions that borrowing involves the assimilation of
borrowed words into the grammatical system of the borrowing language. This is
usually the case where the borrowed word refers to a concept that is foreign to the
borrowing language. In addition, the definition will include the fact that the borrowed
words are also lexically assimilated. However, the second definition by Gumperz
(1986, in Kamwangamalu, 2000) is much more general and it is not clear whether it
refers to borrowing proper or ‘nonce borrowing’ (discussed below).
Linguistic items, once borrowed, become integrated into the grammatical system of
the host language as the examples below illustrate:
Examples of borrowing proper from Ciluba/Kiswahili to English
Ciluba
English
Kiswahili
English
mbulanketa
blanket
dereva
driver
kanife
knife
shati
shirt
Isizulu
English
Ciluba
French
36
isikholo
school
shimishi
chemise
ibhola
ball
tabulo
tableau
(Kamwangamalu, 2000: 90)
In addition to being integrated lexically, phonologically, morphologically and
syntactically into the host language, these borrowed words become widely accepted by
monolingual speakers as they look and sound like ordinary words of the host language
(Kieswetter, 1995). The same observation was made by Nyati-Ramahobo (2004) in
reference to Setawana (a dialect of Setswana in Botswana) and Shiyeyi (one of the
local languages in Botswana), that some words from Shiyeyi have been borrowed and
integrated lexically, phonologically, morphologically, and syntactically into Setawana,
and are now used as ordinary words in Setawana. However, such words are restricted
to spoken Setawana. In writing, the formal Setswana conventions are strictly followed.
In fact, the language contact between Batawana and Bayei has rendered spoken
Setawana more as a form of CM than a variety of Setswana, as the following examples
illustrate:
Example of borrowing proper from Shiyeyi to Setawana
Shiyeyi
Setawana
Shaora (swim)
Go shaora (to swim)
(Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004: 68)
Examples of borrowing proper from English to Zulu
Zulu
English
emaklasini
in the classroom
sikoleni
at school
(Kamwangamalu, 2000: 90)
Kamwangamalu (2000: 89) refers to this concept as “borrowing proper” or, what
Kachru (1983, in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 89) earlier referred to as “nativization”. The
two definitions above (of borrowing) by Gumperz (1986: 66, in Kamwangamalu,
2000: 89), and Bokamba (1988, in Kieswetter, 1995), later reiterated by Herbert
(1994, in Kieswetter, 1995), are in agreement and both describe what takes place in
37
borrowing. Borrowing, like CS and CM, is a result of language contact
(Kamwangamalu, 2000: 89; Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004: 68); and so are CS and
Borrowing.
The process of borrowing from other languages, especially English and Afrikaans, is
also common in Setswana (as illustrated below):
Examples of borrowing proper from English-Afrikaans to Setswana
Setswana
English
Setswana
Afrikaans
buka
book
gaisi
huis
poto
pot
heke
hek
kara
car
kopi
koppie
(researcher’s own examples)
Although these borrowed words have their original Setswana equivalents, they are
commonly used by many speakers and will be readily understood. However, their use
is often restricted to spoken communication, whereas in written communication the
original words lekwalo (book), mogotswana (cup), sejanaga (car), ntlo (huis), kgoro
(hek), pitsa (pot) and tsamaya (trek) are preferred. Speakers use borrowing to fill
lexical gaps in their languages (Kamwangamalu, 1999: 260; Moodley, 2001: 10). In
other instances, borrowing is used purely to add variety to one’s speech and other
social reasons, such as to impress the listener, or to demonstrate familiarity with a
language from which borrowing is taking place. One main distinctive characteristic of
borrowing is that, like CM, it can occur in the speech of monolingual, bilingual, and /
or multilingual speakers, and thus differs from CS, that is strictly speaking, a
characteristic feature of the linguistic behaviour of bilingual speakers
(Kamwangamalu, 1999: 260).
2.3.4 Re-borrowing
Re-borrowing (Herbert, 1994, in Kieswetter, 1995; Kieswetter, 1995) refers to a
situation whereby ‘… bilingual speakers may re-borrow a word even though a
particular word had already been integrated in the host language’. This is usually the
case with speakers of the same language who may use different communication
patterns (for instance rural vs. urban or youth vs. elderly).
38
For example: e-school (the Zulu word for ‘school’) is used instead of the borrowed
word isikholo (Kieswetter, 1995: 25).
In some cases, a borrowed word may already be in the plural, but may again be
inflected with a morpheme that denotes plural in the borrowing language.
Kamwangamalu (1997: 48) refers to this phenomenon as “double plural marking”.
Although such words may reflect the ‘double plural’, synchronically they are not
‘double-plurals’ because, in the borrowing language, it is acceptable to inflect such
morphemes to show plurality. This form of borrowing is common in many Bantu
languages. Like in CS, it is the borrowing language that determines how plurality
should be reflected in borrowing, as illustrated in the following examples:
Examples of borrowing proper
Zulu
English
Ama-red blood corpuscles
Red blood corpuscles
Lingala
English
Ba-jeunes (from French)
Young men
(Kamwangamalu, 1997: 48)
Examples of borrowing proper
Setswana
English
di-examinations
examinations
di-computers
computers
(researcher’s own examples)
In ‘double-plural marking’, a word plural in form, may be borrowed from a guest
language (English) and used in the host language (Setswana) with a prefix that also
denotes plural. However, in the researcher’s opinion, these are instances of borrowing
proper rather than of “double-plural marking” as Kamwangamalu (2000: 97) states.
These words are borrowed from English and have no direct equivalents in Setswana as
they refer to concepts that are foreign to the Setswana culture of learning. Because
they have been borrowed into Setswana and are used regularly, they have come to
assume the Setswana prefix ‘di–’ that denotes the plural form, which is appropriate in
Setswana. Therefore, in this study, double-plural marking or re-borrowing will not
39
apply. Instead, examples of this nature will be treated as examples of borrowing
proper.
2.3.5 Nonce borrowing
‘Nonce borrowing’ is a common phenomenon in spoken communication. Nonce
implies ‘once’ or ‘once off’ or ‘for the present time only’. Therefore, nonce borrowing
refers to borrowing that is not regular or not lexically and structurally integrated.
Kamwangamalu (2000: 91), quoting Poplack (1978), defines this phenomenon as: “…
the use of linguistic items from one language (such as English or French) in discourse
in another language (such as siSwati or Ciluba) that show no signs of adaptation to
the linguistic system of the latter language”.
This phenomenon is not restricted to the above-mentioned African languages, but also
occurs in Setswana, as well. Some examples follow below:
Setswana: Ba tshwere discussion ka tsa madi
English: They are holding a discussion about financial matters.
In the example above, discussion is a nonce-borrowed word that resists integration
into the borrowing language (Setswana) and is used as in the original language or the
‘loaning language’ (English). What is important to note is that, in nonce borrowing,
the word or expression that is borrowed is used in its original form across different
languages; while in borrowing proper, the borrowed word adapts to the grammatical
system of the borrowing language such that it slightly differs from one African
language to the other, yet is still recognizable. Nonce borrowing is often confused
with CS because the linguistic units that qualify as nonce borrowing retain their
original phonological and morphological features (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 91); that is,
they are not integrated phonologically, morphologically, lexically and syntactically
into the grammatical system of the borrowing language. However, in CS, the linguistic
items are not socially integrated -- that is, even though a speaker may use a given
linguistic item from one language in the other language, the same speaker may choose
not to use the same linguistic item in its original form but may convey the same
meaning by using its equivalent in the host language (borrowing language).
40
Example 1
Setswana: Ke amogetse lekwalo, thank you.
English: I received the letter, thank you.
Setswana: Ke amogetse lekwalo, ke a leboga.
The phrase ‘thank you’, ‘ke a leboga’ in Setswana, is not socially integrated into
Setswana and therefore it is an example of CS.
According to Kamwangamalu (2000: 90), expressions of time and the units of
currency, as illustrated below, qualify as nonce borrowing, as they are socially
integrated in the different African languages without changing their original
phonological and morphological structures.
English: How much are the bananas? Two rand.
Setswana: Ke bokae dipanana? Two rand.
English: What time is it? Two o’clock.
Setswana: Ke nako mang? Two o’clock.
However, in the researcher’s view, the examples above are more relevant to borrowing
proper than nonce borrowing because of the regularity in which they are used in the
borrowing language.
Bokamba (1988, in Kieswetter, 1995: 23-24) referred to nonce borrowing as lexical
and phrasal expressions. Kieswetter (1995: 23) described lexical and phrasal
expressions as small switches that fulfil a lexical need, implying that they are some
form of CS. The researcher is inclined to agree with Kieswetter (1995: 23) that they
are a form of CS, hence classify them as emblematic or tag-like switching because of
their usage in the sentence.
Examples
•
Discourse markers: anyway, because, that’s why
•
Adverbial time : yesterday, at the end of the month
•
Question forms: Why? What? When? Whom?
•
Set expressions: it’s true, its lucky for you
•
Exclamations: Oh! Hey!
41
•
Term of address: my friend
•
Bare forms: together, cheap, free
(Kieswetter, 1995: 23).
Lexical and phrasal expressions are used frequently in conversations and often function
as set expressions or phrases. A speaker may use any one of them at some point as
they are, even though the speaker may not be fluent in English. At another point, the
same speaker may not use the same linguistic item in its original form, but may convey
the same information by using its equivalent in the language of the conversational
exchange. Myers-Scotton (1993: 125) refers to these as “embedded language islands”.
Although Kamwangamalu’s definition of nonce borrowing (quoting Poplack, 1978)
implies that there is no assimilation of the borrowed word into the linguistic system of
the borrowing language, it is not clear that nonce borrowing is a temporary
phenomenon. Hence, in this study, the following will be used as the operational
definition of nonce borrowing: ‘Nonce borrowing is the temporary use of linguistic
items from one language (EL) into the other (ML) which show no sign of grammatical
adaptation to the linguistic structure of the borrowing language’.
In this section, the key concepts in this study have been discussed, with examples, in
relation to what other scholars stated about them. From the above, it is clear that the
semantic boundaries between these language contact phenomena are blurred. Hence
the presentation of working definitions for each of the concepts that will apply in this
study is an attempt to differentiate one concept from the other. On the basis of the
above, in the present study, the researcher will only refer to two forms of borrowing,
namely, ‘borrowing proper’ and ‘nonce borrowing’. In addition, the three types of CS:
(i) intra-sentential CS, (ii) inter-sentential CS, and (iii) tag-like / emblematic CS; as
well as code-mixing will also apply. The terms: ‘re-borrowing’ and ‘double-plural
marking’ will not apply.
2.4: SOCIAL FUNCTIONS OF CS
Studies carried out by different scholars in different parts of the world have produced
empirical evidence that CS is not random, and that it can be used to serve a wide range
of communicative needs in bilingual interactions (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60).
42
Bilingual speakers use CS as a communicative strategy that can perform a number of
social functions. Speakers engage in CS to exploit the socio-psychological values that
have come to be associated with different linguistic varieties within a specific speech
community. Speakers switch codes to negotiate a change in social distance between
themselves and the other participants in the conversation. This negotiation is conveyed
through the choice of different codes (Myers-Scotton, 1993a).
Although the social functions of CS are not the main focus of the present study, they
are, nonetheless, important in that the study will examine the role that CS plays in the
classroom. In that regard, the data gathered for the study will be examined to
determine whether it shows CS as a communicative strategy that serves a social
function in the classroom, or a didactic function that is educationally beneficial, or
both. The following are some of the social functions of CS cited by scholars:
2.4.1 CS signals one’s identity or group identity (Akindele & Letsoela, 2001;
Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Kieswetter, 1995; Moodley,
2001: 56). This could be any of the following:
a. Ethnic or cultural identity: The speaker may switch from the language of the
occasion (such as English) to his / her mother tongue. When CS is used in this way, it
is said to be a ‘sequential unmarked choice’ as can be seen in the Markedness Model of
Myers-Scotton (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Molosiwa, 2006: 101; Myers-Scotton,
1993a: 114). For instance, learners attending a Model C school (mainly an Englishmedium school) situated in a suburb of Johannesburg in South Africa, who are fluent
in English, occasionally switch to Zulu (their first language) to demonstrate their ethnic
identity and group solidarity (Kieswetter, 1995: 81). This is a school that uses only
English as a LoLT. It is situated in a previously whites-only neighbourhood, but now
some of the learners live in the same neighbourhood. For the majority of these
learners, English is spoken at home to encourage them to be proficient in it.
Example:
Learner A: Hey did you see ukuthi bekumnandi kanjani e-choir nge-Valediction? (Hey
did you see how nice the choir was at Valediction?)
Learner B: Ngitshele mngane how long did you practise? (Tell me, friend …)
43
The example above demonstrates that the speakers switch from English to their mother
tongue within the same conversational exchange, not because they cannot speak
English adequately, but to show ethnic identity, solidarity and in-groupness identity
(Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61).
b. Level of education/ Socio-economic class / Prestige (Kieswetter, 1995; Molosiwa,
2006; Moodley, 2001; Tshinki, 2002): Often a speaker may switch from his first
language to the official language that is regarded as prestigious, a language of
intellectuals and achievers, and therefore associated with a higher social class than that
of the speaker. This is usually the case in English, French, and Portuguese in many of
their former colonies in Africa because these languages are held in high esteem.
Therefore, if one speaks any one of them, it is a sign of the speaker’s social position,
status, and level of education. For instance, CS from Zulu to English by African
learners attending a Model C school has already been described in 2.4.1a above.
Although these learners can speak their mother tongue (Zulu) very well, they
constantly switch to English to signal their socio-economic class. CS is the ‘unmarked
choice’ for these learners (Kieswetter, 1995: 79-80). This is also common in
Botswana. A speaker, often a government official addressing a gathering in Setswana,
would switch to English to signal his / her level of education / socio-economic class.
c. Authority (Adendorff, 1993; Gila, 1995; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kembo-Sure
& Webb, 2000; Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993; Tshinki, 2002): Often when CS
is used to show authority or power, it may also signal annoyance or anger by the
speaker in authority. Within the Markedness Model, CS used in this way is said to be
a ‘marked’ choice (Myers-Scotton, 1993a; 132-133; Finlayson and Slabbert, 2001). To
signal power or authority, the speaker normally changes the tone or pitch of his voice,
either lowering or raising it, but often the latter to express emotions of anger or
annoyance. That way, the speaker is performing a ‘phatic function’ (Moodley, 2001;
Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 132). Kembo-Sure and Webb (2000: 127) state that
“Languages are embedded in the power relations in a country or community”.
In Botswana, Setswana is the national language, therefore, power relations are
embedded in it. Hence, if speakers of other local languages want to progress and to be
recognized, they have to ensure that they learn Setswana, in addition to English, very
44
well. The same applies to English, French, and Portuguese in most of the former
colonies. They are powerful languages that must be learnt by all who wish to gain
upward social mobility. A speaker, especially someone in authority, would normally
switch from any of the African languages to English or French or Portuguese,
whichever is prominent in the specific African country, to assert his authority and
power. It is rather interesting that in South Africa, only 8.2% of approximately 45
million of the population (Population Census of 2001 by Statistics South Africa)
indicated that English was their home language, yet the language has come to dominate
virtually all spheres of public life, be it education, politics, business, or the judiciary, to
mention but a few. This is mainly due to the international status of English and its
association with liberation among non-white South Africans, as well (Strydom, 2002:
200).
2.4.2 CS can be used to accommodate the other speaker(s) or listener(s) (Adendorff,
1993; Gila, 1995; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kamwangamalu, 2000; Tshinki, 2002):
The speaker would start off with one language and then switch to another language to
accommodate those present. This form of CS is described by Finlayson and Slabbert
(1997: 128) as ‘meeting the addressee half-way with language’. This implies that
while one is aware of his / her own linguistic identity, he/she offers other languages to
indicate a spirit of willingness to accommodate and to show respect. According to
Finlayson and Slabbert (1997: 133), “… a disregard of this process is considered … as
arrogant and also a form of alienation”.
In this instance, CS is a ‘sequential unmarked choice’ within Myers-Scotton’s
Markedness Model (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Myers-Scotton, 1993a); Finlayson and
Slabbert, 1997: 130-132).
Additional functions associated with the accommodation function of CS are:
a. Having an awareness of what the addressee prefers / A willingness to learn
and experiment: A speaker is aware of the code that the other speaker(s) prefers,
switches accordingly to adapt to the code or codes that he / she is being offered, as
illustrated in the following utterance made by teenagers who are friends (Finlayson
& Slabbert, 1997:128):
45
‘Ha ke bua le Mozulu ke bua Sezulu, ha ke bua leMotswana Setswana AND …
SO ha ke bua le motho wa LANGUAGE e Ngwe ke TRYa ho bua
LANGUAGE ya gagwe gore a seke a re I AM TRYING TO BE DIFFICULT
ke ba LIKE TRIBALIST’.
Translated to English, the above discourse means:
‘When I speak with a Zulu I speak Zulu, when I speak with a Tswana,
Setswana and so when I speak with a person who speaks another language
I try to speak that language of him / her so that he / she cannot say I am trying
to be difficult or that I am a tribalist’.
In the instance above, the speaker is using CS to display linguistic versatility
(Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kamwangamalu, 2000): The speaker who wants to
accommodate other speakers who may not share the same language as he or she, may
initially use his language; recognizing that it is not intelligible to the other speaker; he /
she may then switch to the next language he / she speaks. If the other speaker
responds, it confirms that the chosen code is common to both speakers. This form of
CS is common in the urban centres where people from different linguistic backgrounds
migrate in search of jobs, as illustrated in the following example (Finlayson &
Slabbert, 1997:130):
Speaker: Nna ke bua kaofela – SeZulu, le Sesotho, le Sepedi.
(Translated): I speak everything Zulu, and Sotho, and Pedi.
At times a speaker trying to accommodate another speaker of a different language
would switch and try to speak the language of that speaker even though he may not
know it well. By so doing, the speaker is trying to experiment with the other language.
Here CS functions as an exploratory choice within the Markedness Model (MyersScotton, 1993a; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kamwangamalu, 2000: 62). CS is used
this way in situations whereby the speaker is uncertain about the expected code choice;
or the unmarked choice is not clear (Myers-Scotton, 1993a). When speakers do not
know much about each other, the speaker who initiates the conversation uses
exploratory CS to establish the unmarked choice of the addressee; not the unmarked
46
choice for a particular situation because ‘they may know which situational factors are
salient for such an exchange’ (Myers-Scotton, 1993b: 176). A speaker who initiates a
conversation in a particular language switches to another language when realizing that
the initial language is not intelligible to the other speaker. If the nominated language is
mutually intelligible to both speakers, their conversation will continue in that language,
because they are satisfied that they have reached the balance of rights and obligations
required for their conversational exchange (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 142-143;
Kamwangamalu, 2000: 62).
b. Making an adaptation on the variety continuum of ‘deep’ to urban
(Finlayson and Slabbert, 1997: 129): A speaker may switch from one variety to the
other of the same language to accommodate the other speaker who may be having
difficulty understanding the ‘deep’ or ‘pure’ variety. This usually happens in an
urban context where the variety of a language spoken, for instance, Zulu, may not
be as ‘pure’ as the variety spoken in rural settings. The speaker of rural or ‘pure’
Zulu may need to water down or simplify his / her variety to be accepted. This is
also the case with Setswana that is spoken both in Botswana and in South Africa.
A Motswana from Botswana may need to switch to South African Setswana to be
well understood in the Gauteng Province. Similarly, a Motswana from South
Africa visiting Botswana may at times need to switch to a Setswana variety spoken
in Botswana to be well understood. About this phenomenon, Finlayson and
Slabbert (1997: 131) state that, … switching to the preferred code of your
addressee, in most cases … his / her first language would normally be interpreted
as decreasing the social distance between participants, or a marked choice.
2.4.3 CS as a deferential strategy (Myers-Scotton, 1993a): this happens when CS is
used to accommodate oneself to the code of the addressee, especially when special
respect is called for by circumstances, or when societal norms indicate it as
appropriate. In this situation, when the addressee responds to the first speaker, instead
of using the language used by the first speaker, he / she chooses a language that he /
she feels is appropriate and respectful for the occasion. This form of CS may also be
indicated by using ‘honorific titles or indirect requests’ as illustrated below (MyersScotton, 1993: 148):
47
Father: Where have you been? [English.]
Son: Onyango nendle adlu aora, baba. [Luo]
Translated: ‘I’ve been to the river, father.’ [English]
In the exchange above, the son chooses to answer his father in Luo (their home
language) as a sign of respect for his father; and even uses the honorific title
‘father’ in Luo, instead of answering in English in which the conversation was
initiated.
Similarly, the first Premier of the Free State Province, Matsephe-Casaburri, when
addressing a gathering at her swearing-in ceremony in 1994, started off in English and
then switched to Sotho, and then to Afrikaans to accommodate the speakers of these
languages who were present (Kamwangamalu, 1998, in Kamwangamalu, 2000: 66-67).
2.4.4 CS to express confidentiality (Kamwangamalu, 2000; Myers-Scotton, 1993;
Tshinki, 2002): When a speaker wishes to express confidentiality, he / she often
switches from a language commonly understood by those present to a language only
spoken and understood by those in whom he / she wishes to confide. Here CS is used
for exclusion. For instance, members of a community may share a common language,
but may also have speakers of different languages within the social group. If they wish
to exclude some members of the group, they often switch to their own language so that
the rest of the group is excluded from the conversation. This is also true with different
social groups who may develop a language only understood by those within their social
circle. They would switch to that language or code if they wish to communicate a
message confidential to their social circle. In this instance, CS is used as a ‘marked
choice’ within the Markedness Model (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Myers-Scotton,
1993a: 135-136). CS is an unexpected choice within that particular group and setting;
but it is used to signal social distance among the participants.
2.4.5 CS used to show emphasis (Gumperz & Hymes, 1986; Finlayson & Slabbert,
1997; Gila, 1995; Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki, 2002; Kieswetter, 1995; Moodley, 2001;
Tshinki, 2002): When a speaker wants to emphasise what he / she is saying, CS may be
employed, usually in the form of an interjection, or a repetition, to clarify or to ensure
that he/she is understood.
48
2.4.6 CS can be used due to the topic or subject that is being discussed (Blom &
Gumperz, in Gumperz & Hymes, 1986; Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki, 2002); Moodley,
2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993a; Tshinki, 2002): When it is more appropriate to discuss a
certain topic or subject in a certain language than in the one initially used, CS occurs.
About this Hoffman (1991: 115, in Tshinki, 2002: 35) says, “Talking about a particular
topic or subject may cause a switch, either because of lack of facility in the relevant
register or because certain items trigger off various connotations which are linked to
experiences in a particular language”.
This form of CS often takes place where a particular language is inadequate to give a
thorough description or explanation of what is being discussed. For instance, during
the discussion of technical subjects or topics brought about by the introduction of
Western technology in developing countries. Where an equivalent expression cannot
be found in a local language, CS to a Western language from where the technology
originates will take place. However, in the researcher’s view, this is more borrowing
than CS. The same observation was made by Kembo-Sure and Webb (2000: 123)
when they stated the following: “… technological changes have brought about the
addition of new terms and words, as happened when computers became a feature of
modern societies … ”.
This function is also referred to as a ‘referential function’ (Appel & Muysken, 1987:
118, in Gila, 1995) because it often involves ‘a lack of knowledge of one language or a
lack of facility in that language on a certain subject’. In such cases, a particular
concept is better expressed in a foreign language and not in the mother tongue of the
speaker, hence the need to switch from one language to the other. This is often
confused with ‘nonce borrowing’ discussed in 2.3.5 above.
2.4.7 CS for closure: (Blommaert, 1992, in Kamwangamalu, 2000; Nwoye (1992, in
Moodley, 2001): A speaker addressing a group of people during a formal ceremony
uses the official language. For instance, in Botswana, English is the official language
during official ceremonies. At the end of the speech, the speaker may switch to his /
her first language or to the national language (Setswana) to make an utterance that
marks closure. He / she may utter the word ‘pula’ that literally means ‘rain’, but in this
instance, the speaker is not using the word ‘pula’ in its literal sense. He / she is using it
49
to say, “Let there be prosperity, peace and happiness”. To the people of Botswana,
‘rain’ brings good things. Because the country is very hot and dry, when it rains, their
fields flourish and they get good harvests, the temperature cools down, and the people
and their animals have enough food to eat and enough water to drink. The word ‘pula’
in Botswana is used with respect because it is also the name of the national currency.
2.4.8 CS to quote another speaker (Moodley, 2001; Liebscher & Dailey O’Cain, 2004):
CS occurs when a speaker addressing a group of people would like to borrow the
words of another speaker or writer and use them verbatim. If the speech is being
presented in a language different from the one in which the words to be borrowed are
in, the speaker switches to that language to quote the speaker; and then switches back
to the language of the occasion to present his speech in order to explain what the
quoted words actually mean.
2.4.9 CS as a strategy for neutrality (Myers-Scotton, 1993a): here a speaker avoids
speaking only one code so as not to commit himself / herself to a single Rights and
Obligation set (RO set). The speaker employs two codes at the same time because he /
she realizes that ‘the use of each of the two codes has its value in terms of the costs and
rewards which accrue with its use’ (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 147). Therefore, CS is
used as a middle path regarding these costs and rewards.
Despite the various social functions of CS articulated above, CS was not an accepted
phenomenon in certain societies. For instance, during the socialist era in Tanzania, CS
between English and Swahili was considered undesirable and a remnant of
colonialism. Grosjean (1982), quoting Mkilifi (1978: 144-145) says: “There is a
school of thought which believes that in a situation like that obtained in Tanzania the
multinguals concerned fail to master perfectly one of the languages they operate in
...”. However, the attitudes have since changed in favour of English. For instance,
Kamwangamalu (2004), quoting Mafu (1999) states that in Tanzania, while expressing
official support for Swahili-medium instruction, the elite generally send their own
children to ‘English academies’ that is, to private English-medium schools that have
mushroomed in Tanzanian urban centres.
50
In Ghana, Forson (1979: 200, in Guerini, 2006) reported negative attitudes towards
English / Akan CS. CS was either tolerated or condemned, and where it occurred it
was denied. Lawson & Sachdev (2000: 1344-1345) reported on the negative attitudes
towards CS by a Norwegian visitor to the USA who disapproved of English /
Norwegian CS by Norwegian immigrants and referred to it as no language, and a
gruesome mixture of Norwegian and English which he was not sure whether to take it
seriously or not. Lawson and Sachdev (2000: 1345) further reported on other cases of
negative attitudes towards CS in Morocco where its users are seen as suffering from
‘colonial hangover’. In Nigeria it is referred to as “verbal salad”, and Gibbons (1987,
in Lawson & Sachdev, 2000: 1345) reported that in Hong Kong, students found it
irritating. Furthermore, Farahlexis (2009) reported that in the Philippines, there were
positive, neutral and negative attitudes towards English-Philipino CS. Some of the
negative attitudes expressed were that CS: poses a threat to the speakers’ ethnolinguistic identity; contributes to communication breakdown because it makes the
conversation ‘hard to understand’; is used to boastfully assert an individual’s education
and socio-economic background and social class; was regarded as an insult to the local
language and therefore irritating; and a sign of ‘colonial hangover’.
Having discussed some of the social functions of CS, it remains to be seen if CS in the
classroom performs didactic / educational functions or social functions or both,
especially where a second language or even in some instances, a third language is used.
However, it is important to review some of the existing literature on CS in education
which will inform the present study. A detailed review of some of the literature is
undertaken in the following section.
2.5 CS IN EDUCATION
Although research on CS in the classroom has been undertaken in many parts of the
world, it is still a relatively under-researched area in Africa, particularly in this part of
Africa. Going through the South African research database, only a handful of studies
were on CS in the classroom. Some of the known studies on CS in an educational
environment are: Adendorff (1993), Gila (1996), Moodley (2001) and Mqadi (1990).
There is abundant literature available on CS in domains other than the classroom.
Even where the domain was a school or institution of learning, focus was on CS
51
outside the classroom (for example, Kieswetter, 1995; Moyo, 1996). The situation is
even worse in Botswana where CS generally and CS in education in particular as a
researchable area has been neglected by scholars for a long time. In some studies
where it appears, such as in Janson and Tsonope (1991) and Nyati-Ramahobo (2004) it
is only mentioned in passing. However, Molosiwa (2006) discussed CS in education
in relation to the analysis of the official language (English) perspective to literacy
teaching and learning even though the focus of her work was not on CS per se. She
raised a number of important issues which will be pursued later in this chapter. In
Botswana, it is only recently that researchers have begun to study CS. Some of the
known studies are Arthur (2001), Letsebe (2002), Ramando (2002) and Tshinki (2002).
It is the former two studies that specifically focused on CS in the classroom. The latter
two focused on CS in a non-teaching / learning situation. Tshinki (2002) focused on
CS in a social setting, while Ramando (2002) focused on CS in the media. All the
studies cited above, will be reviewed as well as the following: Akindele and Letsoela
(2001), Hussein (1999), Lawson and Sachdev (2000), Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain
(2004) and Martin-Jones and Saxena (2001), as they also discuss CS in the classroom.
CS in the classroom has been neglected by researchers although it is generally
acknowledged that it does take place. Some of the reasons for this apparent neglect
are: the stigma often associated with CS in education which is often viewed as a sign
of linguistic deficiency on the part of its users (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60); its users
deny that it exists (Arthur, 2001: 61-62); it is found to be ‘irritating’ (Lawson and
Sachdev, 2000: 1345); and a combination of policy makers’ neutral and negative
attitudes towards its use in the classroom (Ferguson, 2003: 38). However, scholars in
Africa have now begun to see CS in the classroom as a fertile ground for research as
observed by Christa van der Walt (2004: 164) in her article on South African Englishes
that:
The challenge, it seems, is to acknowledge this state of affairs and create space in
which to grow tolerance for non-standard varieties of English and for other
languages (in other words, for linguistic diversity). This opens up new avenues
for research, for example into code-switching practices in the classroom.
52
She further observed that the South African Association for Language Teachers
Journal is actively looking for articles on CS.
Webb (2002: 58) in his discussion of LoLT in tertiary institutions in South Africa
noted that:
Sociolinguists call the use of two languages in the same context with the same
functions code-switching, and it seems to be mentioned more and more in the
South African debate on LoLT as a possible “answer” to the problem of selecting
an LoLT in multilingual teaching institutions. However, to my knowledge the
educational effect of code-switching has not been researched…..
The observations above, made by these two scholars, acknowledge that little is known
about the educational effects of CS. What they said confirmed the same sentiments
expressed by other scholars, among them Arthur (2001), Ferguson (2003: 38), and
Kamwangamalu (2000: 60). On the basis of the above, the present study, although
based on the Botswana situation, intends to address this knowledge gap. The study
undertakes to answer the main questions regarding CS use in the classroom; that is, is
the phenomenon that occurs in the classroom really CS? Does it signal a lack of
linguistic proficiency on the part of its users? Does it have any educational and / or
language development value? It is hoped that the answers to these questions will
inform all stakeholders in the education system, more especially the policy makers, so
that they can make an informed judgment regarding the use of what is termed CS in the
classroom. Similarly, the teachers, who are the executors of this phenomenon, will
also become aware of the consequences of its use in the education system. These
include, among others, the acquisition of knowledge across school subjects generally;
and the effect of its use on the acquisition of competency and fluency in English as an
important language of education, career and job prospects in particular.
As already mentioned, research on CS in the classroom is relatively new compared to
research on CS in non-formal domains. Nonetheless, a number of the studies cited
above are reviewed below to determine their relevance to the present study, highlight
their strengths as well as their limitations with the intention to address the latter in the
present study.
53
Arthur (2001) investigated the role of CS in the classroom through an ethnographic
study characterized by lesson observations, questionnaire interviews and direct
interviews. Her study focused on two Standard Six (South African Grade 5) classes at
two schools located in two different places in northern Botswana. In one place the
language of the community was predominantly Setswana (the national language),
while in the other the language of the community was Ikalanga (one of the minority
languages). In both cases English was the LoLT. According to Arthur (2001: 61), the
teachers:
operated under conditions of tension between institutional pressure to adhere to
language policy, that is, the exclusive use of English in the classroom, and their
professional and personal instincts to code-switch in response to the
communicative needs of their pupils.
From this study, Arthur made a number of observations which led to some important
conclusions. Some of the observations were that teachers used CS to perform the
following functions in the classroom: to fulfil pragmatic functions such as to give
encouragement or praise or reproof to individual learners; (used discourse-related CS
in the form of contextualization cues) to capture the learners’ attention when moving
between stages of the lesson or back to the main topic of the lesson; and (used tagswitches) to prompt learners to respond to the teacher’s monologue in the form of ‘a
chorus of minimal responses’(Arthur, 2001: 62).
CS from English to Setswana was the monopoly of the teacher and the learners were
not allowed to code-switch. Where it was made available to them, the learners rejected
it because they viewed its use as breaking the ground rule of using English as the
LoLT. Learners did not CS to Setswana to make a contribution to the lesson, but
rather, to apologize to themselves for failing to respond correctly to the question.
Some learners chose to remain silent in class, or mumbled an answer as they were
ashamed to give a wrong answer loudly in English, lest they made a grammatical error.
As a result, the insistence that the learners use English in the classroom denied them
the freedom to use their first language, and consequently stifled their participation in
the lesson.
54
Because the official policy was that English is the LoLT for all lessons except
Setswana lessons, and that the learners had to be prepared for primary school-leaving
examinations to be written in English, the teachers were compelled to use English
predominantly and to use Setswana minimally even though they recognized the
benefits of using Setswana to clarify the material learners did not understand. English
was used as ‘a center-stage language’, while Setswana was ‘a back-stage language’
(Arthur, 2001: 69). For instance, learners were expected to answer questions fully in
English in the classroom, while conversations between the learners or even between
the learners and their teachers outside the classroom took place in Setswana or
Ikalanga depending on the participants’ repertoires and preferences. Arthur (2001: 7273) further observed that at other times CS to Setswana signalled Setswana as:
…‘the language of complicity’…teacher and pupils are mutually interdependent
in that all need to keep up the appearance of effective activity in the classroom
and of fulfilment of their respective roles. Any problems that arise must,
therefore, be glossed over or kept backstage.
This implied that CS to Setswana at times did not occur for any educationally worthy
purpose, but rather to gloss over some obvious learning difficulties so that it appears as
if learning was taking place.
Arthur (2001) concluded that although it was evident that CS occurred in the
classroom, the teachers were, however, ashamed and reluctant to admit to its use.
They did not want to be seen to be deviating from the official policy of using English
as the LoLT. The requirement to teach in English inhibited learner participation due to
their lack of fluency in this language. The teachers at times had to ignore the fact that
learners had difficulty with the language of learning because they were preparing them
to eventually write their examinations in English.
The observations and conclusions made by Arthur (2001) were very important. They
implied that CS took place in the classroom because the teachers realized that the
learners had a problem with English as the LoLT and, that when English was used
throughout the lesson, there was less learner participation. This implied that either the
learners did not understand some part of the lesson, or even if they understood, they
55
failed to participate in the discussion of the lesson because they could not express
themselves well in English. However, where some parts of the lesson were presented
in Setswana, teaching became more effective as learners participated more. It appears
therefore, that the issue in this instance was the language problem. However, it is
important to note that the use of CS in this instance was largely for social purposes
rather than academic purposes. Hardly any material which was presented in Setswana
was of any educational value. However, that does not imply that reinforcements and /
or praises are not important to the teaching and learning processes.
While Arthur’s study and the present study are essentially similar, the present one is
based on the senior level of secondary education, Forms Four and Five classes which
are the terminal stages of secondary education, but Arthur’s study focused on the
primary level of education. Arthur focused on three subjects namely; English,
Mathematics and Science, while the present study, in addition to Science and English,
also focused on History and Home Economics, which are content and practically-based
subjects respectively, as well as Setswana as a language subject taught in the school.
The latter was included as CS in the classroom was likely to occur between English
and Setswana. It therefore remains to be seen if the current study will produce results
similar to or different from those produced by Arthur (2001)’s study.
Kieswetter (1995) also investigated the use of CS in a school situation. Her study
focused on the conversational patterns of African high school learners in three different
schools. One was a rural school in KaNgwane, another was a school in Soweto (a
township outside Johannesburg), and the third was a Model C school in a suburb in
Johannesburg. In the first school, CS was between Zulu / Swati and English; in the
second school, CS was between Zulu and English (and to some extent Afrikaans); and
in the third school, CS was between Zulu and English. In all three schools the LoLT
was English. The following observations were made at each school:
KaNgwane School
Boys tended to use more Swati than girls especially in the greeting and parting phases
of a conversation in order to establish solidarity. Girls sometimes switched to Swati
when talking to boys. The conversations of the learners had an overall pattern of code-
56
mixing as ‘the unmarked choice’ for them; and they used borrowings and reborrowings. The dominant language (Matrix Language) was Zulu / Swati while
English was the Embedded Language (EL). Sometimes learners switched completely
to English to make a marked choice in order to emphasize or highlight a particular
point. However, this occurred seldom and such switches were relatively short.
Although the school was supposed to be an English medium school, the teachers often
resorted to using the mother tongue in order to explain the work more clearly. The
teachers also tended to speak more in their mother tongue, but when they codeswitched, they used actual CS while the learners used more code-mixes. This
Kieswetter attributed to the fact that the teachers had achieved a much higher level of
education.
Kieswetter attributes greater use of Zulu / Swati to the fact that the learners used these
languages a lot both at school and at home. She asserts that it is the context which is
responsible for the type of overall conversational pattern found among learners. The
learners are not surrounded by people speaking English every day, so they tend to use
Zulu / Swati more and included mixed forms and English insertions as an indication of
some knowledge of English. Although these learners are able to speak English, they
do not seem to attach much importance to it.
From the above, one can deduce that to these learners, English is only a language of
learning as required by the school; as soon as the learning ceases, so is its use. Also
their frequent use of Zulu / Swati may be a sign of lack of confidence in expressing
themselves in English. This again brings up the language issue, that is, is English the
appropriate medium of learning for these learners? This is also demonstrated by the
use of Zulu / Swati by the teachers in the class where they feel that learners do not
seem to understand what is being said in English. Again the question is, is the
phenomenon here really CS or repetition of material in another language? And what is
the cause of this phenomenon? The present study will attempt to uncover the reason
behind this phenomenon.
57
Soweto high school
The study focused on learners who were mainly Zulu speaking and Kieswetter found
that their conversational patterns were very similar to those of learners at the
KaNgwane high school. Their conversations displayed an overall pattern of CM as the
unmarked choice with Zulu being the Matrix Language and English, and at times,
Afrikaans being the Embedded Languages. This Kieswetter attributed to the fact that
these learners are constantly surrounded by their mother tongue at school and at home.
However, she noted that the relative frequency of code switches is higher within the
Soweto context than at KaNgwane School. This could be due to the urban nature of
Soweto where there is free interaction between learners from this Soweto school and
those attending Model C schools. In addition, these learners have access to television
programmes and shopping centres in Johannesburg where English is predominantly
used.
Again fluency in English language seems to be the central issue here. The nature of
switching seemed to be determined by how fluent in English the learners were.
Model C school in a Johannesburg suburb
The study also focused on Zulu speakers. These learners comprised only 7% of the
school population and as such the school was predominantly English speaking.
English was the LoLT, a language of authority at school and a language of interaction
outside the classroom for the majority of the learners. It was also a language spoken at
home (some of these learners, although of African origin, lived in the neighbourhood
suburbs while others lived in Soweto and other townships).
The following observations were made: There was a marked difference between the
conversational patterns of these learners and those in the previous two schools. Larger
switches were made to English during the period of discourse. There was an overall
pattern of CS as the unmarked choice in their conversations which carried social
meaning to indicate their identities - first their ethnic and group identity as Zulu,
secondly their social identity – their status and level of education. Although a lot of
English was used within a conversation, Zulu was still the Matrix Language and
English the Embedded Language. Because the majority of the learners and the
58
teachers at the school were English speaking (English is their mother tongue), the
learners of African origin were exposed to spoken English more than their counterparts
at the other two schools. As a result, their conversational patterns were influenced by
constant exposure to English. Because English was the language of learning and
authority, and was also viewed as the language of achievers, a high value was attached
to it by these learners and their parents. Consequently, it was also spoken at home.
For these learners both Zulu and English represented different sets of social meanings
and therefore they freely code-switched between the two languages depending on what
social meaning they wanted to convey during a conversation. As a result, they used
both languages almost equally within conversations. The overall speech pattern
included CS, code-mixing, borrowings, and re-borrowings or what Kamwangamalu
(1997) refers to as double plural marking. However, as earlier argued, in the
researcher’s view, what Kamwangamalu refers to as reborrowing or double plural
marking is, in fact, borrowing proper.
In summary, the study showed that there was more CS at the Model C School but there
was more code-mixing at the KaNgwane and Soweto schools. However, learners at
the Soweto school displayed more instances of CS than those at KaNgwane. It is
interesting to note that for the learners at the Model C School, CS was a sign of fluency
in both languages and confidence to speak English, while at the other two schools CS
was more due to a lack of fluency and lack of self-confidence by these learners to
express themselves in English.
Although the study demonstrated that there was both CS and CM in all three the
contexts, it did not shed light on their educational effects. This is the deficiency in
Kieswetter’s study. Also, the examples given in the study are of discourse which
occurred in social and informal situations but not in a formal classroom situation;
hence it was not clear if CS or CM was of any didactic value. Furthermore, in all
instances, only the conversational patterns of the learners were given but not those of
their teachers; hence it was not possible to judge when teachers used CS, how, and
why. The present study will present the utterances of both the teachers and the learners
whenever possible in order to examine their use of CS.
59
Moyo (1996) carried out a pilot study on CS at the University of Zululand among
participants he considered to be competent bilinguals. The participants were ZuluEnglish, Afrikaans-English, Xhosa-English, and Sotho- English speakers. All four
groups had English as their second language (L2). They were all degree holders
working either as academic or administrative staff. Moyo (1996: 20) concluded that
CS among competent bilinguals was not a result of a lack of proficiency in L2 but
rather:
a spontaneous expression of their ambivalent psychological state, where there is a
strong dual inclination to use both their L1 and L2 in specific communicative
situations.
Various reasons were advanced by the participants for CS from their first language
(L1) to their second language (L2). Some of the reasons were: they code-switched in
order to maintain a freer flow of communication among those who share a common
L1; to identify with both languages the speaker spoke; to show group solidarity and to
show association with the cultures of those languages; generally, CS from L2 to L1 at
work was meant to ensure that the speaker’s first language is not relegated to a lower
status compared to English which was associated with professionalism, science and
technology. However, some admitted that they code-switched due to the inadequacy of
their L1 to express professional concepts. From this study, Moyo (1996: 26-27)
concluded that:
this subsequent discourse constitutes a mode of expression or register in its own
right. We could therefore describe this register as a third variety which the
speakers themselves clearly recognize as their appropriate mode, particularly in
many social and informal conversations.
However, the question is, can CS be regarded as a third variety? Does it have its own
vocabulary? Does it have its own speakers? In the researher’s view, by definition, CS
is not a third register; it is a language behaviour pattern. What can be considered a
third register, is CM rather than CS. Moyo (1996: 27) went on to say:
It is generally observed in African contexts, that the use of English and an African
language may well point to the class or the elite. Code-switching therefore
60
becomes the marker of some ambivalent ethnic identity, which usually indicates
the speakers’ dual affiliation to the two cultures.
Again the question here is: does CS really indicate some identity? If so, which identity
is that? In the researher’s view, CS between one’s L1 and English is more of a sign of
educational level than ethnic identity. Even then, CS performs different functions. So
it is difficult to assume that its use in a particular instance is a sign of one’s dual
affiliation with the cultures associated with the languages in use. Furthermore, the use
of CS does not necessarily imply complete fluency in both languages or even complete
understanding of the cultures of the speakers of those languages, especially the
language which is not one’s mother tongue.
Moyo (1996) further observed that more competent bilinguals tended to use intrasentential CS, while less competent bilinguals tended to use inter-sentential CS in the
form of ‘emblematic’ switches. These may be fixed expressions which comprise
discourse particles, interjections and tags which tended to be well interspersed in their
speech in order to give the impression that they were balanced and competent
bilinguals. However, from the study it is not clear how Moyo (1996) measured the
English competenc of the bilingual speakers.
Furthermore, even though the setting for this study was an academic environment, it
did not focus on CS in the classroom but rather on the use of CS in formal and
informal situations outside the classroom. Hence it will not inform the present study to
any marked extent.
Akindele and Letsoela (2001) examined the use of CS in secondary and high schools in
Lesotho as an instructional strategy. The study involved teachers of Science /
Mathematics, English Language and Literature, Geography, and Development Studies
in urban and semi-urban secondary and high schools. This study is very similar to the
current one except that it focused on the teachers only while the present study focuses
on both the teachers and learners. In addition to Science, language and content
subjects, the current study also includes a practical subject. Akindele and Letsoela
(2001) did not include a practical subject. However, the results of their study are very
61
important to the current study as they raised a number of pertinent questions which the
current study will also seek to address.
From the study, the following observations were made: almost all the teachers (except
non-Sesotho speakers), irrespective of the locale and the subjects they taught, codeswitched; strongly agreed that CS facilitated teaching and learning because it
‘enhanced content delivery, and allowed both the academically-strong and the
academically-weak learners to participate actively in the lesson’; that even nonSesotho speaking teachers who could not code-switch used CS through other learners
by allowing those who understood ‘to explain concepts in Sesotho to the weaker ones’
(Akindele and Letsoela 2001: 92). Teachers code-switched at any point in the lesson
and tended to code switch at inter-sentential rather than at intra-sentential level.
CS was used for various purposes such as to mark transition from one stage of the
lesson to another, to explain difficult concepts, and to praise good performance,
response or behaviour. Similar observations were made by Arthur (2001). In the
latter, CS was a positive reinforcement tool when a learner had responded correctly to
the teacher’s question. However, in the researcher’s view, this was more of a sociopsychological function than a didactic one because CS was not used to present the
lesson content but to acknowledge the learner’s contribution to the lesson. However,
Akindele and Letsoela (2001) determined that the downside of CS use in the classroom
was that it did not enhance the learners’ academic performance. It seemed here
academic performance was based purely on how well the learners expressed
themselves either in speaking and writing. However, this was inadequate as this view
was not based on the learners’ achievement in graded work such as tests and
assignments or even examinations.
CS did not improve the learners’ spoken and written communication in English. Even
though concepts had been explained to the learners through the CS strategy, they still
found it difficult to explain the same concepts in English. This was an indication that
the learners lacked proficiency in English hence they were unable to demonstrate
through speaking that they had understood concepts explained earlier in Sesotho. CS
also did not improve the learners’ written communication because it was limited to
spoken communication.
62
From the observations made above, it is clear that the phenomenon of CS was
prevalent across the subjects observed in the schools that were under study. However,
these observations raise a number of pertinent questions: Can the phenomenon that
occurred in these lessons really be termed CS as per the universal definition of CS by
different scholars? If it does not fit this definition, what then is it, and what is the
underlying cause of the occurrence of this phenomenon? It is interesting to note that
while teachers generally agreed that CS enhanced content delivery and increased
understanding and participation, it did not improve the learners’ academic performance
nor did it improve their spoken and written communication; the latter in English. This
observation was strange and contradictory because if CS enhanced content delivery
and learner participation, it means that learning was taking place, so academic
performance should naturally be enhanced. Again if CS did not improve spoken and
written communication in English, can we rightly say it is an effective instructional
strategy? Or is it a hindrance to the learners’ acquisition of English as a second
language, which is important to master due to its status as the prescribed LoLT? Again
if learners cannot explain concepts in English explained to them in Sesotho, does this
not signal that the issue here is not the difficulty of a given subject or its concepts, but
rather, the language-in-education policy problem given that learners seem to
understand the presentation of a lesson in Sesotho better than when it is presented in
English? Can we not then ask if, in this instance, English as a LoLT is effective? Is
the language of instruction not the barrier? Are the learners not being instructed in a
language they have not mastered, hence their difficulty in following the lessons?
Furthermore, if non-Sesotho speaking teachers allowed some learners who had
understood the lesson to explain to the other learners in Sesotho, can we say this is CS
or mere repetition of the same material in the learners’ first language? Was that not
really a waste of teaching time as it amounted to repetition in Sesotho of the same
lesson material earlier presented in English? Can this strategy then not have a negative
effect of boredom among those learners who had understood the material in the first
instance when it was presented in English? Again where CS was used as a positive
reinforcement tool, it appears that its function was more social than academic. The
issues raised from the review of this study will be further explored in the current study.
63
Akindele and Letsoela (2001) also observed that teachers tended to code-switch intersententially rather than intra-sententially. This was in contrast with what Moyo (1996)
observed in the setting he studied. Moyo observed that more fluent bilinguals tended
to code-switch intra-sententially rather than inter-sententially. This contrast is
important to note because teachers are supposed to be fluent bilinguals. Therefore, if
intra-sentential CS is associated with fluency in both languages, then the teachers at the
Lesotho setting should code-switch intra-sententially not inter-sententially. The
present study will thus take this contradiction on board and establish whether it is intrasentential, or inter-sentential CS, or both, and which are used more by fluent bilingual
speakers.
In the researcher’s view, Akindele and Letsoela (2001) made a number of important
observations and arrived at some important conclusions. However, through the present
study, the researcher will seek to answer the questions that arise from their study which
are at the thrust of the current study.
Martin-Jones and Saxena (2001) investigated the effectiveness of a new form of
educational provision known as “bilingual support” which had been developed for
bilingual learners from minority ethnic groups primarily in multilingual urban areas of
England. In this study, the researchers were, in fact, observing CS in the classroom.
The main aim of this form of educational provision was to provide access to the
curriculum until the learners had acquired sufficient English to make the transition to
monolingual education through the LoLT. Their study involved a number of schools
in the Northwest of England and the majority of the learners were from Panjabi, Urdu
or Gujarati speaking communities. Essentially teaching was mainly done by a
monolingual English-speaking teacher with the assistance of a bilingual assistant who
explained what had been said in the language(s) of the learners. In some situations, the
lesson would first be introduced in the learners’ language(s) and then a monolingual
teacher would take over in English. This strategy was meant to assist the learners to
follow the lessons without being disadvantaged by the lack of understanding of English
as the LoLT.
What was taking place in this situation was the presentation of the same material in
two different languages in a class to maximize understanding and learning for the
64
benefit of the learners. The strategy was meant to address the language problem. The
learners were being assisted to learn English and at the same time to follow the
curriculum without suffering the setback of lagging behind in the curriculum.
Although Martin-Jones and Saxena (2001) refer to this strategy as a form of CS, in the
researcher’s view, it was mere repetition of the same material initially presented in one
language, and then repeated in the other language. It is therefore doubtful if this
strategy can be rightly referred to as CS when the two scholars said:
What was common to both teaching / learning events …was that the
monolingual teachers assumed the principal speaking rights.
They took the floor whenever they deemed it to be appropriate.
They allocated turns to the bilingual assistants and shaped the patterns of
code-switching across turns.
In the researcher’s view, the repetition of the same information is not synonymous with
CS. The strategy they used worked as an instructional strategy as in the Lesotho study
(Akindele & Letsoela, 2001), however, it is still questionable to refer to that strategy as
CS. The current study seeks to address this knowledge gap.
Furthermore, it is important to note that this strategy was appropriate for the setting
above because England is mainly a monolingual country; therefore the gradual
instructional transition from bilingual to monolingual instruction in English was
appropriate. However, in situations where English is a second or even a third
language, such as in Botswana, this strategy is bound to raise some problems. That is,
the education system may be construed as trying to build a monolingual country
directed to a foreign language. This does not mean that even in the situation on which
Martin-Jones and Saxena (2001) focused, such problems as deculturalization of the
learners could not be questioned. Furthermore, one is bound to ask why it is
considered paramount for the learners, such as those in the study under discussion, to
learn English so that they can learn only in it, while the same does not apply to the
learners whose mother tongue is English when they are in a country like Botswana.
The native speakers of English are not even required to learn Setswana, let alone being
instructed in Setswana. This shows how protective the native English speakers are of
their language and culture. They are aware that the two are inseparable. A fact most
65
governments in former colonies fail to realize and appreciate is that by prescribing that
English be a LoLT, they are in the process killing their own languages and cultures.
This issue will be discussed further in Chapter Eight on interpretation and discussion
of the study results.
Because of the difference in the two situations, the results of the study above will not
have much bearing on the Botswana situation because in Botswana, English is a
second and a foreign language whereas in England it is the main local language.
However, English also function in High Function Formal Context (HFFC) unlike
Setswana which is a national language but with limited functions in formal contexts,
such as in education in Botswana. Over and above, English is recognized as the
international language for education, career and commerce.
Adendorff (1993) studied CS amongst Zulu-speaking teachers and learners. The study
focused on the use of CS in a classroom environment as well as its use in
administrative matters. The three classes that were involved were English Language,
Biology, and Geography, and it was found that CS in all three instances was used to
perform the following functions: In the English lesson, CS was used to ensure
understanding, to encourage the learners to participate in the lesson, and to mark
solidarity. CS was further used as the language of provocation, that is, to raise an issue
so that the learners can participate in the discussion. In the Biology lesson, switches
were used as contextualization cues to check if the learners were following the lesson,
and also to encourage them to have a positive attitude towards the lesson, as well as to
mark solidarity. In the Geography lesson, CS was used to establish authority and to
exercise classroom control.
In all the lessons of the three subjects, CS was used in the classroom more to perform
social functions than to perform a didactic function. Adendorff (1993: 13)
acknowledged this fact when he said:
…the Geography lesson illustrates the teacher’s heavier reliance on Zulu to
accomplish social objectives…, the Geography teacher uses Zulu as the means of
exercising classroom management, rather than as a vehicle for transmitting
academic knowledge.
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Furthermore, Adendorff (1993: 9-10) confirms the minimal use of Zulu for academic
purposes in class when he says:
Why, one might wonder, does the teacher switch briefly to Zulu… What is the
implicit meaning which Zulu conveys? Clearly the words in Zulu…add nothing
new by way of content. This fact reinforces the likelihood that if the Zulu words
are communicatively significant, it is not because of their semantic content, but
because they constitute a meta-message of some kind.
Therefore, the study, although conducted in the classroom situation, largely
demonstrated the social function of CS in the classroom in the form of classroom
management, and minimally for content delivery. However, classroom management
is educationally positive as it reinforces learning.
Even outside the classroom, the use of CS by the school head signalled its use to
ensure understanding of the message imparted which was also important in an
educational environment. This implied that the learners at times had problems
comprehending the message presented in English. As such, English was more of a
barrier to communication than a facilitator.
Adendorff’s study will, however, have a bearing on the present study because it was
conducted in a similar environment as this one. One limitation of this study is that
only switches made by the teachers were shown but not those made by the learners.
This, therefore, hinders the evaluation of the learners’ CS in the classroom.
Although CS was not the main focus of their study, Bissoonauth and Offord (2001)
when investigating patterns of language use, language choice and language attitudes of
Mauritian adolescents in full-time education, found out from teachers of the three
subjects chosen for the study, namely Art, Economics, and Mathematics, that although
English is the LoLT, they often switch to French and even Creole in the course of the
lessons to match the linguistic ability of their learners ‘with the aim of facilitating
comprehension, since these two languages are best understood by the pupils’
67
(Bissoonauth & Offord, 2001: 396). To confirm this, one Science teacher was quoted
as saying (Bissoonauth & Offord, 2001: 396):
[…] I am obliged to use it [Creole] when they [the pupils] do not understand
certain topics like Maths, Science…
Arthur (2001), Kieswetter (1995), Akindele and Letsoela (2001) and Adendorff (1993)
also made similar observations in their studies, viz. that CS in the classroom is mainly
used to facilitate comprehension. If the role of CS is mainly to facilitate
comprehension of instructional material, it implies that the learners do not grasp the
lessons well when they are presented in English. This, therefore, implies that English
as the LoLT is problematic in all the situations outlined above. It therefore, appears
that in this study, like in other studies above, the underlying problem is the Language
in Education Policy. Learners lacked proficiency in English yet they were receiving
their education in this language, hence the use of CS in teaching and learning.
Bissoonauth and Offord (2001), like other scholars, refer to the use of two languages in
a classroom situation as CS. Their study does not provide analysis of the utterances
made to determine if indeed it is CS that is being used, or if it is mere repetition of
instructional material in two different languages. This is what is at the centre of the
present study: to investigate the nature of this phenomenon, its causes, its strengths and
limitations, and to suggest ways of how it can be rectified, if necessary.
Hussein (1999) and Lawson and Sachdev (2000) investigated CS in university
environments in Jordan and Tunisia respectively. Although their studies focused on
the attitudes of the participants towards CS, to some extent the two studies have some
bearing on the present study as they were based on academic environments and the
respondents based their responses on their use of CS within and outside the classroom
environment. Both studies reported negative attitudes towards CS by their respondents
because it was either seen as ‘polluting’ the Arabic language (Hussein, 1999: 6) or it
was ‘devalued’, in a formal language learning environment (Lawson & Sachdev 2000:
1357).
Hussein (1999) reported that various studies showed that, ironically, anti-codeswitching proponents themselves code-switched in the midst of their conversations
68
(see also Pandit, 1985: 17; Torres, 1989: 424, in Hussein, 1999). He further observed
that some of them calling for the use of Classical Arabic, which is the high variety, to
the exclusion of colloquial Arabic, a low variety, they themselves code-switch
consciously or unconsciously to colloquial Arabic in their conversations. His study
also confirmed this when his respondents (the learners) were of the view that the
speakers of Arabic who code-switched or code-mixed with English were polluting the
Arabic language. However, the same respondents indicated that they use CS for both
academic and social purposes. In their academic conversations, they switch from
Arabic to English when English terms have no Arabic equivalents, or where scientific
concepts can easily be expressed in English. For social reasons, CS is used to greet,
apologise, or to compliment a person. The limitation of this study is that the examples
from the data were not provided; therefore the nature of CS could not be examined.
Lawson and Sachdev (2000) carried out two studies on attitudes towards CS at a
university in Tunisia. In both studies, the participants reported very little CS in the
classroom. This the two researchers attributed to the fact that participants in the study
were mainly learners of English; and more so, that the general attitudes towards CS in
a formal learning environment like the classroom, were negative. However, they
observed that usually in an environment like the university, where status was
important, it was possible for the participants to under-report their actual engagement
in CS in favour of more prestigious varieties such as English, French, or Tunisian
Arabic. Although Arabic was used to learn other subjects, its use during English
lessons was discouraged. This confirmed the observation made by Kamwangamalu
(2000: 60) that CS in educational settings carried a stigma of a lack of proficiency in
L2 by the user. The present study wishes to investigate whether this stigma is justified
or not.
Mqadi (1990) investigated CS among the learners at the University of Zululand. From
his study it emerged that the learners code-switched more in informal situations than in
formal situations because the latter normally did not accommodate CS. In informal
situations, CS was used to show one’s educational level, familiarity or affinity between
speakers, group membership, to exclude other listeners and even out of habit. Mqadi
(1990) observed that the learners at this university tended to switch between their
languages and English because of the latter’s status as the language of education,
69
science and prestige, but in formal situations like the classroom, when they codeswitched from English to their mother tongue, it was when they were unable to come
up with a correct word in English that appropriately put across the message they
wanted to convey. It is, however, not clear whether the learners, in this instance,
engaged in CS per se, or if it was nonce borrowing simply because they could not
remember the appropriate word to use in the language being used; or whether it was
due to a language deficiency. Therefore, in this study, CS mainly serves social
functions. None of the functions outlined above indicate that CS served an
instructional function -- to present the lesson content.
On the use of CS out of habit, Mqadi (1990) says most of the learners at this university
code-switch because they come from the townships where people from different ethnic
backgrounds live together, hence children grow up in an environment where CS is a
common occurrence. Furthermore, when these children begin school, they are exposed
to English and then Afrikaans. The dual learning of these two languages further
encourages switching between their languages and the new languages they learn at
school. In this context, CS is seen as playing a vital role in unifying different cultures
while at the same time serving its basic function of facilitating communication. It
enables its users to express their thoughts precisely. So if CS does facilitate
communication, why can’t the learners be allowed to employ their L1 so as to
communicate effectively? Again, the question here is, “is what is taking place in the
classroom really CS?” The researcher is of the view that the study revealed the sociopsychological functions of CS. None of the functions outlined above indicated the
educational effect of CS in the classroom. The main shortcoming of the study is that
only a summary of the study was given and the actual data was not presented, hence it
was not possible to evaluate it. Again the study only focused on CS among the
learners and left out the lecturers.
Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain (2004) focused their study on learner CS in a foreign
language classroom. Their study was based on a seminar for advanced learners of
German at the University of Alberta, Edmonton in Canada. They conceptualized CS
not only as a strategy for second language learning, but also as a resource for effective
bilingual communication (Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004: 503-504). As a strategy
for second language learning, the learners were allowed to use English as the main
70
language of learning where they were deficient in German. That is, one’s L1 plays a
very important role in learning even if it is in the learning of another language.
Liebscher and Dailey O’Cain (2004) suggested that when the classroom is
conceptualized as a bilingual space by both the students and the teacher, CS patterns
emerge that are similar to those found in non-classroom situations. The members of
this classroom view themselves as a community of practice which adjusts to rules and
shared views about their actions and about themselves as members of a community.
Through their practices, they show how such a community can facilitate their
development from second language learners to bilinguals (Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain,
2004: 502). The notion of this study is important to the current study because in
Botswana, the learners are not only expected to learn English as a second language, but
also to become competent bilinguals. Hence, like in this study, the classroom is
conceptualized as a bilingual space. In analyzing the data, the researchers adopted
Auer’s conversation analysis approach (Auer, 1984). This approach is characterized
by two main distinctions of CS functions -- discourse-related functions and participantrelated functions. The former (discourse-related CS) organizes conversation by
contributing to the interactional meaning of a particular utterance, and in the latter
(participant-related CS), switches correspond to the preferences of the speaker who
switches or those of other speakers partaking in the conversation (Auer, 1984, 1998, in
Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004: 502). This distinction was originally based on the
observations of bilingual interaction taking place outside institutional settings like
schools; however, Martin-Jones (1995, 2000, in Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004:
502) argued later that this distinction could be applicable to the claasrrom environment
because classrooms often comprise groups of people with differing language abilities
and communicative repertoires.
From this study, it emerged that CS in the classroom follows two patterns; discourserelated and participant-related patterns. Unlike earlier studies which said only teachers
can use discourse-related CS patterns while learners can only use participant-related
CS, this study also demonstrated that both teachers and learners can use both
discourse-related CS and participant-related CS. Teachers use discourse-related CS to
make asides, to quote, and to move in and out of the teaching / learning context
(Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004: 503). Some of the discourse- related functions
71
that the learners can use CS patterns for are to show contrast, to sum up, to think aloud,
to mark the content of a meta-linguistic comment (or to set-off an aside), to mark a
quote, to mark a topic shift, to mark a change of footing and to mark a turn in a
conversation (Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004).
Participant-related CS patterns largely address the roles of the learners and the teacher
in the classroom and the teaching context. Teachers use participant-related CS when
they anticipate that the learners would not understand what is being said in the target
language (usually L2), and therefore will use L1 to facilitate understanding. The same
strategy was observed by Adendorff (1993), Akindele and Letsoela (2001), Arthur
(2001) and Kieswetter (1995). The learners use participant-related CS when they use
L1 in order to overcome a communication difficulty in a target language or language of
instruction.
However, various uses of CS outlined in this study appear to be used more for social
functions than didactic functions. Evidence of the didactic function of CS is minimal
as in other studies (Adendorff, 1993; Arthur, 2001), except perhaps, when it is used to
sum up or to mark a quote.
Again what comes to the fore in this study is that both the learners and their teachers
appreciate the importance of communicating in one’s first language in order to
overcome communication difficulties. Therefore the question is, “can we say it is CS
that is being employed in the classroom?” If it is not CS, then what do we call this
phenomenon?
Applying the principle of participant-related CS, the present study will also investigate
if Setswana is given any room in the learning of English as a second language and if
so, whether the strategy is effective. The Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain (2004)’s study
is similar to the current study in that both focus on the learners and the teachers in the
classroom. However, the current study will, in addition to focusing on the target
language, include a content-based subject and a practical subject. Thus, CS as a
teaching and learning strategy will be observed across three categories of subjects,
namely a language-based, a content-based, and a practical subject. Again like other
previous studies, it seems that participant-related CS patterns are largely due to
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inadequacy in the target language especially on the part of the learners. This is what
the present study will address and also whether CS is of any didactic value; that is,
whether CS use yields any positive educational outcomes or whether it acts as an
impediment to effective learning.
Molosiwa (2006) in her work on ‘secondary school teachers’ perception of literacy
instruction in an examination-oriented environment’ touched on the role and effects of
CS in the classroom. She asserted that CS exists in Botswana classrooms even though
it is not officially sanctioned and therefore denied. She mentioned that CS is used to
serve a number of communicative functions, some of which are to compensate for
some language difficulties experienced, to express solidarity, to convey an attitude or
to show respect (Molosiwa, 2006: 101). While the latter three functions were social,
the first function ‘to compensate for some (language) difficulty,’ is of interest here. It
implies that when a speaker encounters difficulty in self-expression in English, he or
she would switch over to Setswana in order to provide continuity to the speech or vice
versa. This scenario is in conflict with the definition of CS as espoused by different
scholars and also subscribed to in the current work. Therefore, based on the data
gathered for the current study, the researcher will revisit this issue in order to establish
if indeed what takes place in Botswana classrooms is CS or not.
Letsebe (2002) is one of the few researchers in Botswana who investigated CS in the
classroom. In fact, very little research has been undertaken on CS in Botswana as
rightly observed by Tshinki (2002). Tshinki (2002) and Ramando (2002),
independently researched CS in a social setting and in the media in Botswana
respectively. In his interactional study, Letsebe (2002) focused on teachers’
explanations and the learners’ views on CS in selected primary schools in Gaborone
(city), Tlokweng and Mogoditshane (peri-urban areas). From his study, Letsebe
(2002) observed that many teachers code-switched in their daily teaching regardless of
the subjects they taught. Some teachers reasoned that they CS in order to emphasize a
point and to promote understanding among the pupils. Others said they CS because
they had difficulty in expressing themselves in English. However, the learners did not
object to the use of CS by their teachers. In fact, they felt more at ease when teachers
code-switched to Setswana in class than when they taught in English.
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From what the teachers and the pupils said, it appears that lack of proficiency in
English as the LoLT was the central issue here and that what is termed CS seems to be
repetition of the lessons in Setswana initially presented in English or delivery of the
lessons in Setswana for most of the time. Furthermore, Letsebe (2002) raised a very
important issue that if teachers use Setswana most of the time to teach in class so as to
promote learning among the learners, are they really helping these learners who then
are required to write their tests, assignments and even Primary School-Leaving
Examinations (PSLE) in English? This important question the present study will seek
to address; that is, to find out if CS is of any didactic value in a teaching and learning
situation. Again the present study will attempt to determine if CS in the classroom is
not a contravention of the Language in Education Policy (LiEP). The issue of LiEP is
discussed further in the next section.
In conclusion, the studies reviewed above raise a number of pertinent questions which
are central to the research problem under investigation in the present study. Some of
the questions are: Is the phenomenon that occurs in the classroom really CS? If it is
not CS, then what is it? It appears that in a number of these studies -- Adendorff
(1993), Akindele and Letsoela (2001), Letsebe (2002), Martin-Jones and Saxena
(2001) -- what is referred to as CS seems to be the presentation of lesson material in
two languages. Some studies, Adendorff (1993), Akindele and Letsoela (2001), Arthur
(2001), Bissoonauth and Offord (2001), Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain (2004), and
Letsebe (2002) point out that the teachers use the learners’ L1 instead of the official
LoLT in order to accommodate the linguistic ability of the learners and to ensure that
learning takes place. Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain (2004) refer to this strategy as
participant-related CS. In that regard, the following questions arise: Are the scholars
referring to the use of the learner’s L1 as CS? If it is not the case, then what is the
difference between the two? Is the use of any of the two strategies (if they are
different) in harmony with the language in education policies that obtain at those
institutions? Specifically, is CS an educationally effective strategy? What underlies
the use of any of these strategies? What are its strengths and limitations in teaching
and learning? What are the possible remedies to problems related to the use of this
strategy? These questions will be answered in the present study in relation to the
Botswana situation. The use of the learner’s L1 or what several studies refer to as CS
signals an underlying problem, which could be the language of instruction. This brings
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into question the LiEP that applies at the respective institutions where these studies
were conducted. Therefore the following questions need to be asked: “Is the LIEP
appropriate? Is it effective?”
Consequently, in its attempt to contribute towards bridging the knowledge gap in
relation to CS in the classroom, the current study will, in addition to answering the
issues raised above, also address what Kamwangamalu (2000: 60) calls the stigma that
CS use in education carries: that it signals a lack of proficiency in the LoLT on the part
of either the teacher or the learners or even both. This stigma is partly due to
inadequate research of CS in educational settings such as the classroom. Van der Walt
(2004: 164) attests to this inadequacy when she said there is renewed interest in CS
research regarding its use in education. More importantly, Webb (2002: 58) stated that
there is no research thus far that has addressed the educational effects of CS. This is
the thrust of the present study. Many studies mention that CS is used in the classroom
to perform academic functions; but looking at the studies discussed above, although
most of them are directed at the classroom situation, the CS functions they identify are
largely social or psychological. The researcher, however, does not imply that sociopsychological functions of CS are not important in teaching and learning. In fact, it is
the psychological functions which are often referred to as academic. For instance,
when CS is used as a positive reinforcement tool when the teacher uses it to praise,
complement, or encourage a learner. In other instances, it is CM or some form of
borrowing which are also referred to as instances of CS used to perform an academic
function. However, the difference between these concepts has already been discussed
earlier in this chapter. Therefore, CM or some form of borrowing cannot pass as
examples of CS use for academic purposes. In the researher’s view, evidence of the
academic functions of CS has not yet been established. The current study will
therefore attempt to address the issues raised above, and by so doing try to extend the
frontiers of knowledge.
The occurrence of CS in the classroom contravenes Botswana’s LiEP that states that
English is the LoLT throughout the education system (Botswana Government White
Paper No. 2, 1994). However, CS in the classroom also demonstrates that Setswana as
a national language has an educational role to play. In the next section, The LiEP of
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Botswana will be discussed to establish whether or not it contributes to CS occurrence
in the classroom.
2.6 BOTSWANA’ S LANGUAGE IN EDUCATION POLICY (LIEP)
Botswana’s LiEP gives prominence to English as the official LoLT. As alluded to in
Chapter One, the status of English in education is historical. When Botswana gained
independence in 1966, English was understood to be the LoLT, and Setswana was the
LoLT at lower levels of primary school (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004; Molosiwa, 2006).
However, the role that Setswana played in education was removed in 1993 when the
second National Commission on Education (NCE 2) recommended that English be the
LoLT from the second year of primary schooling and throughout the education system
and that Setswana as a national language be a LoLT only in the first year of primary
school. Thereafter, it is only learnt as a school subject in primary and secondary
schools (Magogwe, 2005; Molosiwa, 2006). At the University of Botswana, Setswana
is taught in English for reasons that are not clear to the researcher. The LiEP did not
provide for the indigenous languages.
Botswana, like other ex-colonies of Britain opted to use the language of their former
colonial masters in the education system that was a continuation of the colonial
practice. According to Bokamba and Tlou (1977: 36, in Rammala, 2002: 74) in the
African context, pedagogical considerations are not primary in influencing decisions
relating to the use of particular languages as media or subjects of instruction, even
though they are relevant. Rather, the LiEPs of most African countries are based on the
following three practical considerations (Bokamba & Tlou, 1977, in Rammala, 2002:
75-76):
a. For efficiency and expediency: African languages were considered
insufficiently developed to function as LoLT.
b. National unity or political considerations: African languages were perceived as
politically divisive and seemed to encourage tribalism which was against the
‘national unity’ that many African states were striving to achieve after
independence. Therefore the choice of ex-colonial languages or languages of
wider communication (LWC) as LoLT was more political than pedagogical.
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These languages were seen as a uniting force, and their choice as LoLT was
designed to create the perception of a common destiny for the citizenry.
c. National progress: African languages were not associated with national
progress that comes about as a result of industrialization and associated
technological achievements. Ex-colonial languages were well established as
LoLT and their use was perceived as symbolizing progress. Therefore many
African governments opted for an easier solution of using ex-colonial
languages as LoLT instead of developing their own local languages to the same
status.
In Botswana, while English was chosen on similar grounds, the decision that it be
taught in the first year of primary schooling and then used as LoLT from the second
year onwards seems unrealistic. This approach is more theoretical than practical and it
is doubtful if one can study a foreign language in one year and then be able to
effectively function by using it in a learning situation. Botswana’s LiEP is against
Cummins’ Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills (BICS) and Cognitive Academic
Language Proficiency (CALP) (Cummins, 1979). These concepts -- BICS and CALP- are used to differentiate between social and academic language acquisition. The
former (BICS) is required in social situations, and the latter (CALP) in formal
academic learning environments.
According to Cummins (1979) one needs up to two years to acquire BICS in English in
an environment where English is the main language such as in the USA or in the U.K.,
and approximately five to seven years to acquire CALP. Therefore, in the case of
Botswana’s LiEP, learners are exposed to English for one year (which is shorter than
the period to acquire BICS) and then expected to function in it at CALP level. This
approach manifests in problems such as a lack of understanding of the subject content
owing to the lack of the required proficiency in English. The end result is low
academic achievement among learners. Code-switching seems to be a possible
solution to the language problem. Consequently, in the classroom, teachers continue to
code-switch between English and Setswana in an effort to impart knowledge to their
learners, and learners code-switch as well in an effort to participate in the learning
process (Arthur, 2001; Letsebe, 2002).
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The practice of CS appears to continue into secondary schools. The current study
seeks to establish whether this is the case or not. The argument advanced by NCE 2
(1993) that the introduction of English at Standard 4 level was too late and contributed
to the learners’ lack of fluency in English was flawed. In fact, CS in the classroom
appears to be a result of the very policy that was meant to address the problem of a
lack of fluency in English among learners. This policy was a direct opposite of widely
accepted results of research from many parts of the world that indicated that cognitive
development was achieved faster in mother tongue instruction than when an LWC is
used as LoLT in primary school education (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004; Rammala, 2002).
In this regard Bamgbose (1991) questions why an asset that a child possesses should be
ignored, and also states the following:
Literacy through the mother tongue or any other language that the child already
speaks means that he will not be grappling with two difficulties at the same time,
that is, learning a new sound system and learning to represent such sounds in
writing. Using the sound system of the child’s language for teaching literacy
means that he will only be concerned with how to reduce the sounds he already
knows to writing; and once he has learnt to write such sounds, this should
facilitate his writing of any other sounds ….(Bamgbose, 1991: 66)
The LiEP of Botswana is not only prescribing a foreign language as a LoLT but is also
devaluing Setswana, hence giving a false impression that Setswana as a language is not
capable of functioning at high function (Formal Context) level. Rammala (2002: 76)
argues that:
Every language can be put to any use … after careful consideration of the
language situation is made and a number of necessary steps taken to develop,
elaborate and revalorize the language. Any spoken language can be written and
teaching and learning material can be developed in such languages.
Furthermore, Botswana’s LiEP seems to ignore a number of disadvantages that result
from the promotion of English at the expense of Setswana and other local languages:
First, English generally lacks reinforcement outside the classroom because most
learners (and even their teachers) view English only as a LoLT and it is hardly used
outside the classroom between the teachers and learners. English is used by a few of
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the privileged elite outside the classroom but the majority of the learners use their
mother tongue. As a result there is no reinforcement of language acquisition between
the school and the home. Second, the learners’ inability to fully comprehend English
is also detrimental to full comprehension of the lesson delivered in English. This has
an adverse effect on learning and eventually the learners’ academic success. Third,
many of the school dropouts gradually lapse back into illiteracy after being detached
from situations that require the use of English. This problem was acknowledged by the
NCE 2 (1993) hence the recommendation that learners be allowed to learn their
languages at school because
“Literacy in these languages has the potential to provide pupils who drop out of
the system with a fall-back position if they should lose literacy in English and
Setswana” (NCE 2, 1993: 114).
Finally, the use of English as LoLT hinders the development of Setswana and its
culture (including other local languages). This may create negative perceptions about
Setswana that may result in learners considering Setswana as an academically
unsuitable language. The end result may be alienation of the educated from the
uneducated. A similar observation was made by Bokamba and Tlou (1977, in
Rammala, 2002: 78) quoting Ansre (date not stated) that:
… some Ghanaians look upon their own languages with a certain amount of
shame, and regard them as not worthy for their children to learn.
Molosiwa (2006: 102) also made a similar observation that learners often ridicule their
fellow learners who score high marks in Setswana and ask them if they plan to become
Setswana traditional doctors.
On the basis of the aforementioned, Botswana’s LiEP will be evaluated against the
basic principles of language planning in order to determine whether its formulation
adhered to these principles , and therefore meets the expectations of Botswana society.
In that regard, an overview of what constitutes language planning is given below.
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2.6.1 Language planning
In this section, the following will be discussed: language planning, language in
education policy, what language is and its functions; and the role of language in
education and its effect on human development.
Language planning forms the basis for any country’s LiEP. Grin (1996: 31 in
Strydom, 2002: 1) defines language planning as:
… a systematic, rational, theory-based effort at the societal level to solve language
problems with a view to increasing welfare. It is typically conducted by official
bodies or their surrogates and aimed at part or all of the population living under its
jurisdiction.
This implies that language planning does not address language problems only. Rather,
it is a conscious effort on the part of decision-makers to explore a number of
alternatives before formulating a policy that will meet the linguistic and developmental
needs of the nation with the view to empower the citizenry by ‘democratizing access to
skills and knowledge, which in turn would ascertain equal participation in a
national…economy’ (Strydom, 2002: 39). It is evident from the definition above that
language planning is a compulsory exercise that every multilingual country should
undertake.
In deciding on a country’s language policy, the decision- makers should ensure that the
national language(s) and official language(s) meet the linguistic needs as well as the
developmental needs of the nation-- in the case of Botswana, Setswana and English.
Therefore, ‘the question is not if language can be planned but rather how and by whom
language can be planned.’ Reagan (2002: 419). In response to this question Cooper
(1989: 182, quoted in Reagan, 2002: 419) states that: to plan language is to plan
society. This implies that language planning has a direct bearing on society, therefore
it is important to actively involve the society for whom language is planned to ensure
that all aspects related to linguistic and developmental needs are taken into account
during the planning process. This will also ensure that the language policy which is
the by-product of language planning is relevant, succeeds and enjoys popular support
of its beneficiaries, which is the citizenry of the country at large.
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Language planning involves public decisions about language, its use, status and
development (Reagan, 2002: 419). These decisions have social, economic, educational
and political significance for society and the individual. This is so because language
planning can serve opposing functions; as a tool for empowerment and as a tool for
oppression (Batibo, 2004: 33; Kamwangamalu, 2004: 243; Webb, 1995: 85). As a tool
for empowerment, language planning can serve ‘as a tool for empowering groups and
individuals, for creating national bonds and ties, and for maximizing educational and
economic development’. As a tool of oppression, ‘language planning can be used to
maintain and perpetuate oppression, social class discrimination, and social and
educational inequality’ (Reagan, 2002: 420). Therefore it is rather short-sighted to
disregard any of these issues when embarking on language planning.
On language planning, Eastman (1983: ix, in Mesthrie, 2002: 420) states that it is ‘a
developing field that sees language as a social resource’. Eastman further says:
“Language planning is done through the cooperative efforts of political,
educational, economic and linguistic authorities”
(Eastman, 1983: ix, in Mesthrie, 2002: 420).
It is therefore important that language planning is a democratic process that involves
all stakeholders at all levels. To that end it should include four main components: factfinding, establishment and articulation of goals and strategies, implementation and
evaluation (Reagan, 2002: 420). Because of its direct effect on society and the
individual, language planning should have four main features: it should be a conscious
and deliberate activity; be future oriented; involve choices; and involve decisionmaking processes in making those choices (Reagan, 2002: 420). Therefore language
planners should ensure that they are familiar with the language landscape in which
language planning is done. They should clearly state the goals of language planning as
well as the strategies that will be used in the language-planning process; and there
should be an implementation stage characterized by implementation strategies.
Thereafter, there should be an opportunity to evaluate the entire process to determine
whether it is consistent with its goals and is in harmony with the social, economic,
educational, and political landscape. This process can be illustrated diagrammatically
by using Webb’s framework for strategic planning (Webb: 2002: 38, in Strydom, 2002:
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192). The framework uses basic principles inherent in strategic business planning and
in applying it, Webb (2002) outlines the fundamental factors on which the design and
implementation of a language planning policy should be based. The framework is later
discussed in the final chapter of this study and also produced as Addendum A.
Language planning essentially involves two distinct phases: corpus planning and status
planning. Corpus planning involves the expansion of a language to enable it to
perform the functions allocated to it (Webb, 1995: 109). In Botswana only English and
Setswana have gone through the corpus-planning stage and, to some extent, a few other
indigenous languages such as Ikalanga and Shiyeyi. However, pressure is increasing
that all other indigenous languages should also go through the corpus as well as statusplanning phases. Status planning involves the selection of a language or languages to
function in high function (formal) contexts. In Botswana, English enjoys that high
status as earlier explained in the introduction to this study. To some extent Setswana is
used in some public domains. Other languages are restricted to low function (informal)
contexts mainly used by their speakers within a family unit, and within religious or
cultural groups.
To ensure that language planning and policy is positive and in harmony with its society
Donna Kerr (1976, in Mesthrie, 2002: 420) suggests that such a policy must pass the
following four tests and the questions that they raise:
1. The desirability test – does the community as a whole believe that the goal of
the policy is desirable?
2. The justness test – is the policy just and fair, that is, does it treat all people in an
equal and appropriate manner?
3. The effectiveness test – is the policy effective? Does it achieve its objectives?
4. The tolerability test – is the policy resource sensitive? That is, is it viable in the
context in which it is to be effected?
Linguists and policy makers unanimously agree that language can be planned, and a
LiEP is a result of this planning. LiEP refers to a policy that specifies a language or
languages that should be used in the education system as a medium or mediums of
instruction (MoI) or (LoLT) and of study. Robinson (1996: 13, in Strydom 2002: 2)
describes language policies as ‘… language planning decisions generally most evident
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at national level, affecting language use through the society, either actually or
potentially’. According to Cooper (1989, quoted in Reagan, 2002: 419), ‘Both status
planning and corpus planning affect the choice of language for development
communication. Status planning leads to decisions about the allocation of codes to
societal functions, and corpus planning may precede or result from such decisions.
The formulation and implementation of language policy is planning by the state’.
LiEP falls within the larger and general framework of language planning and policy of
a given country. Therefore, before language planning is undertaken and a language
policy formulated, the goals and the results of the policies thereof should be taken into
account. Similarly, which language to use and what its functions will be, including its
role in education should also be taken into consideration. These considerations are
important as language is central in human communication.
2.6.2 Language and its functions
Language has been defined by Finocchiaro (1964: 8, see Brown, 1994: 4) as ‘… a
system of arbitrary, vocal symbols which permit all people in a given culture, or other
people who have learned the system of that culture, to communicate or to interact’.
Wardhaugh (1972: 3, in Brown, 1994: 8) echoes the same sentiments by defining
language as ‘… a system of arbitrary vocal symbols used for human communication’.
These two definitions essentially imply that language is systematic; that it is used by
humans to communicate and to interact with one another; and that it is through
language that humans express their culture. Therefore, it is important for humans to
learn a language that they can use to communicate with one another to show emotions,
and to develop self-esteem. Guiora et al. (1972 b, in Brown, 1994: 62) talks of a
‘language ego’, referring to the identity that a person develops in relation to the
language that he or she speaks. This implies that one’s self-identity is intertwined with
language and ego development because such identities are confirmed in the
communication process. For a person to effectively communicate in a given language,
he or she has to learn its vocabulary, grammar rules, discourse rules, and other
organizational competences. These forms are learnt to transmit and receive thoughts,
ideas, and feelings between a speaker and a listener (in oral communication), or
between a writer and a reader (in written communication) (Brown, 1994: 231). Thus
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language facilitates communication between humans that, according to Austin (1962,
in Brown, 1994: 232), is ‘… a series of communicative acts or speech acts which are
used systematically to accomplish particular purposes’.
To that effect, language performs a number of communicative functions that Halliday
(1973, in Brown, 1994: 232-233) classified as follows:
i.
An instrumental function: brings about a particular condition or causes certain
things to happen;
ii.
a regulatory function: controls events without exercising too much power;
iii.
a representational function: allows the speaker to use a language to make a
statement, convey facts and knowledge, to explain, or to report;
iv.
an interactional function: ensures social maintenance by allowing
communicative contact between and among human beings in order to establish
social contact and to keep channels of communication open;
v.
a personal function: allows the speaker to express feelings, emotions, and
personality;
vi.
an heuristic function: involves the use of language to acquire knowledge and to
learn about one’s environment; and
vii.
an imaginative function: creates imaginary systems or ideas.
It is therefore important for a speaker to use linguistic forms effectively to perform any
of the language functions outlined above.
Essentially, language can be used to perform a primary or a secondary function.
Primarily, language is used to serve socio-psychological functions. These are mainly
instrumental and symbolic functions. The instrumental function is concerned with
language as an instrument of communication that enables its user to transfer
information and to have access to information. Through language we create ideas in
our minds, recall and memorize information, reason and put our ideas across to other
people. We can also express our feelings, views, needs, wishes, and aspirations to our
family members, friends, communities, religious groups or cultural groups. This is
considered to be a low-function (informal-context) level.
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Performing a symbolic function, language enables us to handle our social relations and
to socialize with others. We construct, express, and maintain our personal and group
identity and loyalty, for example, institutional identity and social identity, through
language. In this context, code-switching is used: we can code-switch when we speak
to establish our identity within our social or ethnic groups. Language can bind a
community as a common denominator, yet it can also separate communities if they do
not have the same language as a common denominator. In all the instances mentioned
above, language is used to perform its primary function.
In its secondary function, language is used in various public domains locally,
regionally and internationally. Such domains could be the education system; the mass
media; official business; the legislature; the judiciary; trade; and commerce (Webb,
1995: 104). Examples of languages that enjoy this status are English, French, and
Portuguese in most of their former colonies; and respectively Swahili and Somali in
Tanzania and Somalia (Webb, 1995). As a secondary function, a language functions at
a high-function, formal level, such as in education. Consequently the role of language
in education and its implication for educational development are discussed below.
2.6.3 The role of language in education and educational development
Language plays a very important role in education as it is primarily through language
that knowledge is transmitted and acquired. Bamgbose (1991: 63) states that language
may serve three purposes in education, namely, literacy, subject, and LoLT. In
literacy, language is used to introduce a child to the rudiments of reading and writing,
or to teach adults how to read and write. As a subject, a language is taught in schools
without any further implication of it being used as a LoLT. In Botswana, Setswana
and French are examples of subjects that are taught in schools but have no implication
for further use as LoLTs. The former (Setswana) is taught in all government schools
and some private schools while the latter is taught in some government schools and
other private schools. The LoLT is also taught as a subject. This applies to English in
Botswana and in many other African countries that were former British colonies;
French in former colonies of France and Belgium; and Portuguese in former colonies
of Portugal. It is the latter purpose -- that of using a particular language as LoLT -that is important or at stake in this context.
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It is important to carefully consider which language should be used as LoLT because
the language that is selected for use in the education system should facilitate
transmission and acquisition of knowledge, and not act as an impediment to these.
Bamgbose (1991: 62) states that ' Education is a means of upward social mobility,
manpower training, and development in its widest sense of the full realization of
human potential and the utilization of this potential and the nation’s resources for the
benefit of all’. Therefore, education is central to development in general and human
development in particular.
According to Brown (1994), language plays a very important role in educational
development because through language, cognitive and meta-cognitive skills are
developed and knowledge is accessed. Language also plays a role in the development
of affective skills, such as a respect for knowledge, professional integrity, and a sense
of self-confidence. All the above-mentioned skills (cognitive, meta-cognitive and
affective skills) develop systematically and through guidance as interaction takes place
between the students and their learning material and teachers through the use of
language. Therefore, the LiEP should ensure that the LoLT facilitates the acquisition
of these skills.
When language plays a role in educational development, it means that the language of
education should facilitate the acquisition of knowledge, understanding and skills,
which will lead to development in general and human development in particular.
Human development is defined as a situation whereby an environment is created in
which people can develop their full potential and lead productive, creative lives
according to their needs and interests (UNDP Report, 2004). In a nutshell, human
development is ‘development of the people, development for the people, and
development by the people’ (UNDP Report, 1999: 16). Development of the people
should involve building human capacities through the development of human
resources; for instance, educating people to play meaningful roles in society.
Development for the people implies that the benefits of growth must be translated into
the lives of the people; that is, people should lead better lives if the development is
meaningful to them. Development by the people emphasizes that people must
participate actively in influencing the processes that shape their lives; that is, people
must chart their own path to their destiny. This is possible through the acquisition of
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education that can be facilitated by the use of a language that enhances learning instead
of acting as a stumbling block.
The importance of language in human development was appropriately expressed by the
Minister of Education in Lesotho – the Hon. Mosisili -- in his opening address during
the International Conference on Language in Contact and Conflict in Africa (LiCCA)
held in Lesotho in 1993, when he said:
Language is traditionally defined as a richly structured system of human sounds
used for communication … and it is said to be the most highly developed and
most commonly used of all forms of symbolism. Language permeates virtually
every aspect of our lives; it is used for interaction in all domains of life, as well as
all levels of human development. (LiCCA (Lesotho) Report, 1993)
Consequently, in deciding on the LoLT, it should be ensured that maximum knowledge
acquisition will be possible. In this regard, language planning should take place prior
to the formulation of a LiEP that will stipulate which language to use as the LoLT.
Finally, in examining Botswana’s current LiEP against the four tests for language
planning and policy by Donna Kerr (1976, in Mesthrie, 2002: 420) as aforementioned,
it appears that the LiEP of Botswana has completely failed all four tests. It is not a
desirable situation as it excludes the national language from playing a meaningful role
in education. English is given prominence and Setswana is given a subordinate role. It
is not just and fair because the policy does not seem to treat all languages equally. It is
not effective because it continues to promote a language that is foreign to the citizens
of the country in the education system, yet it does not seem to be functioning
effectively as a LoLT. In this context then, there are continued reports of CS in the
classroom. The application of the fourth test (that language planning should be
resource sensitive and viable) specifically applies to the promotion of other indigenous
languages. The main argument advanced by Government against the promotion of
many languages is hence based on the premise that it is not financially viable to teach
all the indigenous languages so that they can eventually reach the status of an
instrument for use in a high-function (formal) context. It seems that Government
assesses this issue superficially; its focus is mainly on the financial costs that will be
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incurred, such as translation and publishing costs, as well as on training of educators in
these languages. There is no regard for the long-term benefits of empowering citizenry
through language-related investments and the appeasement of the sections of society
that feel excluded by the current language policy. The long-term benefits of
empowerment are priceless as it is a major contributor to national harmony and peace.
The speakers of other indigenous languages are not convinced by the arguments of
Government, and dissatisfaction continues to be expressed by those who feel that the
promotion of their languages should be viewed as a right and as a resource, not as
problematic. Government should demonstrate its willingness to gradually take all
languages on board. The promotion and development of all indigenous languages are
inevitable and cannot be done cheaply. Therefore, the sooner Government embarks on
this task, the better, not only for the appeasement of the speakers concerned but also
because it is the right and just thing to do. Failure to embark on this exercise will
result in the continued feeling of marginalization of their languages by some members
of the population, which threatens the nationhood that has thus far been achieved.
Promoting only one local language at the expense of others is in direct opposition to
the very principle of building and promoting nationhood.
2.7 Conclusion
The present chapter has given a detailed review of literature on CS in general, and CS
in the classroom in particular. The review was in the form of the definition and
explanation of CS and its types (inter-sentential CS, intra-sentential CS and tag-like /
emblematic CS) and the concepts related to it, namely, CM and borrowing (including
its two types -- nonce borrowing and borrowing proper). The attempt was to point out
the differences between them, blurred as they are. Social functions of CS were also
discussed. It is against this background that the theoretical framework of the study was
conceptualized. Furthermore, as a basis for the discussion of the second part of the
study’s question, an overview of Botswana’s LiEP was given within the framework of
language planning. This was discussed in relation to language, its functions and its
role in education and educational development as a central focus of language planning
and LiEP.
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In the following chapter, the study design and the methodology used in data collection
will be discussed.
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CHAPTER THREE
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
This chapter discusses the research design chosen for this study and the methods
employed in the data-collection process. The following aspects will be addressed:
1. The nature of the research design and the rationale behind its choice;
2. the choice of research methods for data collection purposes;
3. field research, which will include the research site; the sample; and
4. the sampling techniques, pre-testing, ethical aspects and problems encountered
during the field-research stage.
This study is both theoretical and empirical in design. An extensive literature review
was first undertaken to inform the researcher about the various research methods
frequently used in social sciences in general, and in educational settings in particular.
Their strengths and limitations were brought to the fore. The review also informed the
researcher on how similar language studies were conducted elsewhere. This exercise
proved to be academically rewarding. As a result, an informed decision could be made
about which research methods to use to deal with the practical aspects of this study and
thereby help to answer the main problem under investigation, as well as its subproblems.
CS in the classroom is a phenomenon that is poorly understood. It is still not clear
whether it takes place because its users (both teachers and learners) are conversant in
the languages they employ in the classroom, in this case, English as the LoLT, and
Setswana as the national language, or whether it is because they lack proficiency in one
of the languages or both. To that effect, it was necessary for the researcher to choose a
research design that would enable in-depth investigation of this phenomenon and
engage research methods that would facilitate the collection of data that could be used
to answer the following questions raised in the study:
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1. What is CS in the classroom?
2. Why does it occur; how; and when?
3. Is it didactically beneficial to the teaching and learning situation or not?
In this regard, the researcher decided to use both qualitative and quantitative research
methods in the gathering of data. The nature of the problem under investigation
necessitated the choice of the two research methods to obtain the data first-hand in the
classroom as the phenomenon of CS occurs (the qualitative method); and then to obtain
the views of the participants about the phenomenon (the quantitative method).
Thereafter, the data were analysed and interpreted in relation to the problem being
researched, and it was determined whether the results from each research method
converged or diverged.
The researcher used the method that is now popularly known as ‘qual-quan’ (Morse,
1991, in Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007: 60) because a combination of research
methods was used in the same study in the hope that they would all arrive at the same
conclusion in relation to the main research question. This strategy is known as
triangulation (Brannen (1992); Mouton and Marais (1992); Cohen and Manion (1994);
Denzin (2003); Leedy and Ormrod (2005); Creswell and Plano Clark (2007). In a
study such as this one, in which a researcher investigates an identifiable phenomenon,
and human participants are involved, a multi-faceted approach is necessary to enable
the researcher to investigate the phenomenon from various angles.
3.2 THE QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD
The investigation of CS in the classroom takes place in a teaching and learning
situation. Hence it was important for the researcher to gather raw data from the
classroom while teaching and learning were in progress. The observation technique,
which is a form of qualitative research, was deemed suitable for this purpose. It
enabled the researcher to focus on the phenomenon as it occurred in a natural
classroom environment, and to collect the data that will be qualitatively analysed and
interpreted to gain a deeper understanding of the phenomenon. Qualitative design is
defined by Bodgan and Taylor (1975, in Guy, Edgely, Arafat and Allen, 1987: 257258) as:
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… research procedures that produce descriptive data: people’s own written or
spoken words and observations. This approach directs itself at settings and the
individuals within those settings holistically.
The qualitative research method enabled the researcher to verbatim record the
utterances of the participants, and to also observe what was happening in the classroom
during lessons. The result was rich data to be categorized and interpreted according to
common themes in order to deal with the main theme of the study.
Although the qualitative research method has various types of formats, for example
case study, ethnography, phenomenological study, grounded theory, content analysis
and historical studies, the case-study design was preferred. The case-study design
allows for in-depth observation of a particular phenomenon that is little or poorly
understood as it occurred during the utterances of the participants for a defined period
to obtain the data first-hand (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005: 135). This was the case in the
present study; both the teachers and learners were observed in the classroom to
determine if they used CS and how and when they used it.
In a social setting, CS is clearly understood. Various scholars agree that it is a common
phenomenon in speeches of bilingual and multilingual speakers in many places, and
that it does not indicate a lack of competence on the part of the speaker in any of the
languages concerned, but is a result of complex bilingual skills (Auer, 1984: 1;
Kieswetter, 1995; Milroy & Muysken, 1995; Myers-Scotton, 1993a) to mention but a
few. In contrast, CS in education is still a debatable issue. To that effect,
Kamwangamalu (2000: 60) pointed out that CS in educational settings is neglected
because of the stigma it carries, and that it is considered to be a sign of linguistic
deficiency on the part of its users. The present study, therefore, will either affirm or
refute this assertion.
According to Mouton (2005: 149), a case-study approach is usually used for a smaller
number of cases (usually fewer than 50) to provide an in-depth description. In the
present study, this is also the case, as only four of 27 senior secondary schools in
Botswana (The Ministry of Education Establishment Register for Secondary Schools
and Colleges of Education, 2003/4) were the focus of this study. This is what Leedy
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and Ormrod (2005: 135) refer to as a multiple or collective case study. The choice of
the case-study approach was also based on a number of advantages associated with it
that the researcher also found useful. The case-study approach has high construct
validity in that the data are collected first-hand by the researcher on site. Thus it
allowed for in-depth insights, as the researcher witnessed what was taking place
through observation of lessons in the classroom, and also collected the data through
audio-tape recordings for analysis later. This method promoted the creation of rapport
between the researcher and the participants due to the time that the researcher generally
spent at the schools, and in the classes in particular (Mouton, 2005: 150). The latter
became valuable later, after the researcher had left the research sites. Where the
researcher needed extra information from any of the four schools, such requests were
normally made telephonically, and schools were always willing to assist.
There are, however, a number of disadvantages associated with this type of approach.
It is time-consuming; large amounts of data are often collected, and it takes long for
the researcher to collect the data at the research site (Leedy and Ormrod, 2005: 135).
The researcher also experienced these problems. Much time was spent in the classes
observing and audio-tape recording lessons, and simultaneously taking down notes that
resulted in the collection of a lot of data. At the end, the researcher observed 197
lessons and collected a total of 2 461 questionnaires (from both the teachers and
learners). While the former may be viewed as a large sample for a qualitative study,
this is not so in this research study. Bullock, Little and Millham (1992, in Brannen,
1992: 88) pointed out that often qualitative studies can also involve a large sample. The
amount of data collected also affected the amount of time spent later when analysing it.
However, to reduce the time, the researcher analyzed the data collected from lesson
observations while the research was in progress. Therefore, new issues that emerged
were identified and then included as part of the quantitative investigation in the form of
a questionnaire interview. This consequently eliminated the need for another form of
interview, namely, a face-to-face interview.
Despite the length of time spent at the schools and consequently on the rapport
established with some of the participants, the researcher was mindful of the need to
maintain objectivity at all times, and guarded against subjectivity creeping into the way
in which the situation was viewed during the data-collection stage, and how results
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were interpreted later. The enormous amount of data that was gathered from the
research also did not divert the attention of the researcher from focusing on the main
subject of the study.
Apart from the data collected through lesson observations, additional data were
collected in the form of the syllabi and other relevant documents to better inform the
researcher about what was taking place or supposed to take place in the classroom.
As mentioned, only a few schools were the focus of this study, and all were in the same
region as per the Ministry of Education grouping of schools into regions, Therefore,
the results of this study may not be generalized. However, generalization was not its
prime objective. The main objective was to analyse the nature of the phenomenon that
occurs in the classrooms of the schools in the study, its causes, and whether or not it
was of any educational value. Nonetheless, the data collected through the literature
review described in the previous chapter, and through the participants’ self-reports
described in the subsequent chapters of this report, provide sufficient information to
suggest whether its results can be generalized and be used for similar situations.
Otherwise, case studies conducted in similar situations would be necessary to establish
whether the research results would be similar.
3.3 THE QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD
The quantitative research method was also used in the investigation of CS in the
classroom in addition to lesson observations. A survey technique in the form of a
questionnaire was used to solicit the opinions and views of the participants (both the
teachers and learners) on the phenomenon of CS. According to Mouton (2005: 153)
the results from the quantitative research method have the potential to be generalized to
larger populations if appropriate sampling design had been done; if the questionnaire
was properly constructed, it could have a high measurement reliability; and high
construct validity if proper controls were implemented.
This form of research method necessitates that the researcher identifies, formulates and
standardizes the variables relevant to the study. A questionnaire was therefore
developed in accordance with the requirements of validity and reliability for use in the
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data-collection process. The responses of the participants were then quantified,
statistically analysed and the interpretations thereof were expressed in nominal and
percentage values. The results were then used to answer the research questions that
collectively address the main focus of the study. This form of research method was
preferred as it allows for the generalization of the research results to the wider
population within the schools in the study.
The quantitative research method employs a number of data-collection techniques that
produce data that can be summarized through statistical analysis. In the present study,
the researcher used the survey research, also known as a descriptive survey or
normative survey (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005: 183).
A questionnaire is the most commonly used data-collection method of all quantitative
designs in various areas of human activity. However, it requires careful attention in its
construction otherwise its questions may not address the main research problem. Data
collection is often in the form of an interview that is a series of questions administered
to willing participants in any of the following forms: a face-to-face interview, a
telephone interview, or a questionnaire interview. In this case, the questionnaireinterview method was used.
A questionnaire can be either structured or semi structured. The former involves a list
of questions of which the responses are in the form of a checklist and a rating scale,
known as the Likert Scale (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005: 185; Rea & Parker, 2005: 68;
Frazer & Lawley, 2000: 20). The latter is very similar to the structured questionnaire
except that it also contains open-ended questions designed to seek the respondents’
own opinions in more detail, or to seek clarification on a preceding question. In the
present study, a structured questionnaire was used because it mainly comprised closeended questions. Although the normal trend is to rate the responses by using a rating
of 1 to 5 or 1 to 7, the researcher decided to use a rating of 1 to 3 or 1 to 4. She found
this suitable for this study, and the responses received were equally satisfactory. While
reviewing the literature on methodology, the researcher did not come across any
literature that stated that one should strictly adhere to the rating of 1 to 5 or 1 to 7.
Therefore, the researcher treated the recommended ratings as a guide. Other
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researchers (Desai, 1997; Strydom, 2002; Magogwe, 2005) who also conducted studies
in sociolinguistics and/or language studies, used similar ratings.
A questionnaire has a number of advantages and disadvantages. Its advantages are as
follows:
1. If it is structured, it is easy to complete and therefore saves time.
2. It can be handed out or mailed to participants in the study who can complete it
in their own time in the comfort of their homes or offices, without pressure of
time or of the presence of the researcher.
3. Anonymity is assured, as respondents are not expected to state personal details,
such as their full names on the questionnaire. As a result, respondents are
generally more honest in this type of interview than in a face-to-face interview
(Frazer & Lawley, 2000; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007: 54 -55; Leedy &
Ormrod, 2005: 185).
The disadvantages of such a questionnaire are as follows:
1. The questionnaire often has a low return rate.
2. Its interpretation depends on the language skills of the respondents.
3. As such, its questions may be subjected to misinterpretation if the respondents
have poor language skills.
4. Similarly, its clarity depends on the language skills of its composer. Should the
researcher have poor writing skills, the clarity and the validity of the
questionnaire may be compromised.
5. Where open-ended questions are included, the writing skills of the respondents
are crucial, otherwise a poorly presented response may affect the interpretation
of questions in the questionnaire.
6. A structured questionnaire is not flexible in that respondents are expected to
respond to the questions contained in the questionnaire in the manner that has
been prescribed. Consequently, it does not give much room for deeper probing
and in-depth response (Czaja & Blair; 2005; Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007).
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Notwithstanding the disadvantages outlined above, this data-collection technique was
found to be suitable for specific parts of the study, because it was necessary to seek the
views and opinions of the respondents in a systematic manner and then quantify them
for analysis and interpretation. This technique was necessary to compare its results
with those obtained through lesson observations and to ascertain whether they yielded
either similar or contrasting results. To ensure a good return rate, the researcher
personally distributed the questionnaire to the teachers in the study, and ensured that
the majority was collected before departure from the research sites. For instance, in
School One, 34 questionnaires were handed out to the teachers, and 29 were returned.
At School Two, 28 questionnaires were returned out of 37 that were distributed. At
School Three, 20 questionnaires were returned out of 28 that were distributed to the
teachers in the study. At School Four, 31 teachers participated in the study, and all
were given questionnaires to complete -- 24 questionnaires were returned. Overall, 94
questionnaires were returned out of a total of 130 that were handed out. The return rate
was therefore 72%.
The questionnaire for the learners was administered personally by the researcher
during class time and collected at the end of the class time allocated. During its
construction, it was ensured that plain and simple language was used to avoid
misinterpretation of the questions or a lack of understanding. The decision to
administer the learner questionnaire within the class proved fruitful as the researcher
was available for consultation when some of the items needed clarification. Therefore,
incomplete questionnaires were kept to a minimum. The learners also treated the
completion of the questionnaire with the seriousness it deserved, which resulted in a
very high return rate. For instance, at School One, 687 questionnaires were
administered and 662 were returned, which gives one a return rate of 96%. At School
Two, 640 learners were involved in the study, and 574 questionnaires were returned -a return rate of 89.6%, or 90 % rounded off. At School Three, 690 learners were
involved in the study, and 620 questionnaires were returned, which gives one a return
rate of 89.8% or 90% rounded off, as well. At School Four, 746 learners participated
in the study, and 511 questionnaires were returned, which indicated a return rate of 68
%. In total, 2 367 questionnaires were returned out of a total of 2 763 that were handed
out. Therefore, when calculated, an overall return rate of close to 86% was achieved.
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The return rate of the teachers’ questionnaires, while not as high as that of the learners,
was also good.
Although the questionnaire was relatively long (it contained 232 items), it was easy to
complete because nearly all the questions required a response in the form of a checklist
based on the modified Likert Scale. This form of presentation also eliminated the
problem of writing skills. Further probing took place through the inclusion of a few
items that required a one-word response or a short sentence (11 in the teachers’
questionnaire, and seven in the learners’ questionnaire) to give the respondents an
opportunity to provide extra information that may not have been covered by any of the
items. Unfortunately, the majority of the respondents (both the teachers and learners)
avoided such questions. This was a deficiency in the questionnaire interview. The
objective of including some questions that required the respondents’ own views or
factual information about them that was not based on pre-determined responses, was
lost. Notwithstanding this setback, the questionnaires were generally well answered,
and the setback did not have adverse consequences on the findings derived from the
data collected. Considering that items that required open-ended answers formed only a
small part of the questionnaires, sufficient data were collected through close-ended
responses that enabled the researcher to address the main research question.
3.4 RESEARCH SITE
The research site selected included four government senior secondary schools located
in the North-East region of Botswana (cf. Map of Botswana showing secondary and
technical schools attached as Addendum B). In this study, these are referred to as
School One (S 1), School Two (S 2), School Three (S 3), and School Four (S 4). In
total, there were two urban schools and two semi-urban schools. Schools One and
Two are based in an urban centre and were hence regarded as urban schools in the
study. Schools Three and Four are based in two different towns regarded as semiurban centres owing to their relative proximity to the urban centre and their official
status as administrative centres of the sub-regions. Therefore, the latter two schools
are regarded as peri-urban schools in the study. School Three, like Schools One and
Two, is in the north-eastern region, while School Four is in the Central region.
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One of the main objectives for the selection of the research sites was to establish
whether geographical location, among other factors, has an effect on CS in teaching
and learning.
As aforementioned, the first three schools are located within the north-eastern region.
This region was chosen for its rich cultural and language diversity. The urban centre
serves as the capital city of this region. As an urban centre, it is highly cosmopolitan
with different cultural and language groups represented, including non-citizens from
different countries. Therefore, apart from Setswana and English, many other
languages are spoken in the city and its vicinity, including Ikalanga that is spoken by
the Ikalanga ethnic group -- the dominant ethnic group in this region. The Ikalanga
ethnic group are well known in the country for their strong cultural and language
affinity. They have successfully managed to keep their culture and language alive,
despite the general lack of active government support for cultural and language
diversity in the country (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004). In addition, this city, owing to its
relative proximity to countries north of Botswana, such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, has
a sizeable population of nationals from those countries and beyond. Therefore, this
region generally (and the urban centre in particular) is a melting pot of cultural and
language diversity.
School Three is based in a town approximately a hundred kilometres north east of the
urban centre. According to the authorities at the school, it is linguistically diverse
since it admits learners from junior secondary schools from within its vicinity, as well
as learners from junior secondary schools in the north-western region (especially from
the northern part of the region that shares a border with Zambia). The main ethnic
group from this part of the country is known as the Basubiya, and their language is
known as Sisubiya. Sisubiya is not intelligible to speakers of either Setswana (the
national language) or Ikalanga, the main language of the dominant ethnic group found
in the region on which this study focuses.
School Four is situated in another town approximately a hundred kilometres north-west
of the main urban centre. Although this town is officially treated as part of the subdistrict of the central district, geographically it is closer to the main urban centre in the
north east than to the administrative capital of the central region. The Ministry of
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Education has recognized this fact, hence the classification of School Four as part of a
cluster of senior secondary schools in this region. This seems more appropriate, as the
residents of the town in which the school is based are culturally and linguistically more
similar to the residents of the north-eastern region than to the residents of the central
region.
These four schools provided fertile ground for linguistic investigation -- including an
investigation of CS between English and Setswana -- due to the language diversity that
exists there. According to the self-reports of the respondents obtained through the
questionnaire interviews, Setswana is a second language and English is a third
language for a sizeable population of both the teachers and the learners.
Before the researcher visited the schools, the following documents were sent to the
headmasters of the four schools mentioned: a letter of self-introduction, together with
supporting documents (a letter from the researcher’s supervisor, and a copy of the
letter of permission and endorsement obtained from the Ministry of Education in
Botswana). In compliance with the research principle of informed consent (Leedy &
Ormrod, 2005; Mouton, 2001; Czaja & Blair, 2005; Clough & Nutbrown, 2006;
Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007), all these documents are available should any reader
wish to see them. In the letter, the topic of the study was stated and a brief explanation
of the study itself was given; that is, what it would involve and how it would be
conducted. This was necessary so that the headmasters of the schools would be well
informed about the study and could assist the teachers in preparing the information that
would enable the researcher to get started with data collection upon arrival at the site.
The topic was stated in more general terms so as not to influence the behaviour of the
teachers and the learners. It was necessary to do so as the field research involved
sitting in the selected classes; observing the lessons; and at the same time recording
them. The topic of the research was given as “The role of language in teaching and
learning”. The researcher informed the schools about the expected dates of arrival and
the expected duration of stay at each school.
Upon arrival at School One (at the beginning of June 2006), the administrative
formalities were carried out and the Head of the Faculty of Humanities was requested
to assist the researcher in preparing for the collection of the data. A meeting was
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arranged to meet the senior teachers in the Department of Humanities, the subjects of
which, namely English language and literature, Setswana, and History, were included
in the study. The researcher was also introduced to senior teachers of Biology and
Home Economics. During the briefing, the teachers were informed about what the
field research would entail (that is, the grades involved; the number of classes required
to participate in the study; the learners’ ability levels; the subjects chosen; and how the
data-collection process would be undertaken). The classes were randomly selected
from both Form Four (F 4) and Form Five (F 5) for inclusion in the study. They were
also informed that class observations would first be done, and that questionnaire
interviews with both the teachers and the learners in the study would follow later. This
arrangement would enable the researcher to go through the observation notes of each
lesson; to listen to lesson recordings, and to synthesize the data first so that, should any
issues were to emerge, they would be included in the next phase, which comprised the
questionnaire interview.
The researcher was provided with information on the classes available, from which she
randomly chose classes to participate in the study. Having chosen the classes, the
teachers concerned had been automatically chosen for inclusion in the study. Their
lessons in those classes would be observed, after which they and their learners would
be asked to complete the questionnaires. However, before this commenced, the
researcher was introduced to the teachers concerned. She briefly informed them about
the objective of her visit to their school in general, and to their classes in particular.
She took this opportunity to formally seek the teachers’ consent and by proxy, the
consent of their learners to participate in the study. She was then provided with
individual teaching timetables for these teachers for whom the researcher used to
prepare a lesson-observation schedule. She spent one month at this school. However,
owing to a number of factors -- numerous Botswana public holidays, the mid-term
school holiday during that period, and the mid-year examinations scheduled around the
same period -- it was not possible to visit another school. Hence a visit to the next
school was postponed until the beginning of the next school term. This provided the
researcher with the opportunity to review the data already collected and to determine
how best to proceed with the research at the other schools. She used the time to revise
the two sets of questionnaires in readiness for the next visit.
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The next visit was made at the beginning of September 2006 when the schools
reopened. Although the schools had been initially informed about the researcher’s
visit, nevertheless, another reminder was sent before departing for the schools (Leedy
& Ormrod, 2005; Rea & Parker, 2005). This proved useful as she found that, on
arrival, one of the schools had already prepared the information required for the
classes. The researcher immediately selected the number of classes required, informed
the affected teachers about the study, sought their consent and that of their learners,
and the observation of lessons began. Once the questionnaires had been pre-tested and
modified according to feedback obtained from the pre-test, the researcher handed these
out to both the teachers and learners. She also handed out questionnaires to both the
teachers and learners in the study at School Three, which was the first school visited
during class observations.
The researcher also began collecting data at the third school. Owing to a slight delay
in providing her with the necessary information on the classes, progress was slightly
slower at this school than at the previous schools. Nonetheless, when it was made
available, the observation of lessons commenced, followed by the administration of the
questionnaire of both the teachers and learners whose classes had been observed. It
was not possible to complete the data-collection process at this school during this visit
due to imminent final-year examinations for the F 5 classes, and end-of-year
examinations for the F 4 classes.
The researcher used the rest of the time to review the data collected through lesson
observations and to select some lessons for transcription. Then manual coding of the
collected questionnaires began. During the coding process, it was realised that the
coding of the questionnaires, while it was a tedious and time-consuming exercise,
nevertheless needed exceptionally careful attention to eliminate errors which, if not
attended to, would result in giving wrong data from the information provided by the
respondents. From this experience, it was possible to estimate the time to be spent on
the remaining questionnaires yet to be collected from the remaining two schools. This
enabled advance planning with the Department of Statistics at the University of
Pretoria for the next stage of the research, which was the capturing of the manuallycoded data on the computer in readiness for data analysis. Input from the Department
of Statistics is discussed under section 3.9 on statistical aspects of this chapter. Owing
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to the large volume of questionnaires involved (a twelve-page questionnaire for over 2
000 learners), the researcher postponed visiting the third school (where data collection
was yet to be completed) and to the remaining fourth school (where data collection had
not yet started) until after the coding process was complete. This task was only
completed in April 2007.
The third and final visit to the two remaining schools was made at the beginning of the
second school term in early May 2007. Again the formality of reminding the schools
concerned about the impending visit was repeated in the form of a letter. Some time
was spent completing work at the third school, and then the researcher proceeded to the
fourth and final school to observe the lessons and manage the questionnaire. The
administrative formalities, similar to those fulfilled at the other three schools, were also
repeated at the fourth school before the actual data-collection exercise began. At this
school, some unexpected problems arose that affected the smooth flow of the latter
stage of the field research. While the first two weeks passed fairly smoothly, the last
two were affected by the sudden suspension from classes of learners whose parents had
not complied with the payment of school fees reintroduced by the government in all
public secondary schools. This school, like other schools, was adversely affected by
the sudden enforcement of the directive of the Ministry of Education. Some teachers
continued with the teaching despite the low number of learners in the classes, but
others cancelled their lessons until the attendance rate improved. The lessonobservation stage was not seriously affected by this sudden disruption of classes as
most of the lessons had already been observed. However, the questionnaire
administration stage was affected. As a result, the return rate for the learners’
questionnaires was low at this school compared to the other three schools. The
researcher also spent a longer time at this school than at the other three schools as the
latter stage of the data-collection exercise was slowed down by the problem explained
above.
A total of four and a half months were spent at the research sites, visited at intervals
over a one-year period from June 2006 to July 2007.
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3.5 SAMPLE SELECTION AND SAMPLING PROCEDURE
Sampling is very important in studies that involve human subjects (Murray Thomas,
2003; Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). Different sampling designs are appropriate for different
situations. It is important to consider the nature of the population to be studied before
selecting the appropriate sampling technique. There are two main types of sampling:
probability sampling and non-probability sampling (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005; Murray
Thomas, 2003; Punch, 2003; Rea & Parker, 2005). In the former, it is necessary to
specify in advance that each segment of the population will be represented in the
sample. The sample is chosen from the larger population through random selection or
random sampling. This means that each member of the population has an equal chance
of being selected, based on the assumption that the characteristics of the sample
selected are almost similar to the characteristics of the total population (Smit, 1985:
178-183, in Strydom, 2002: 92; Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). In the latter, the sample
cannot be predicted and there is no guarantee that each element of the population will
be represented in the sample. To that effect some members of the population have
little or no chance of being selected. In the present study, the researcher used the
probability random sampling design. This form of sampling was preferred because it
gave equal chances to each segment of the sample represented.
There are five kinds of probability sampling, namely simple random sampling,
stratified random sampling, proportional stratified sampling, cluster sampling, and
systematic sampling (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). The stratified random sampling was
used in the present study owing to the nature of the population that needed to be
sampled -- it had almost equal sizes of strata. Leedy and Ormrod (2005: 202) define
‘strata’ in a study that involves human subjects as “… layers of distinctly different
types of individuals”. This sampling technique (stratified random sampling) is
normally used for a stratified population, such as school grades, which was the case in
this study. Because each layer consisted of distinctly different types of individuals, the
sample was chosen equally from each layer in the overall population. The main
advantage of this form of sampling is that it guarantees representation of each of the
identified strata.
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3.5.1 Selection of teachers
The selection of the teachers was determined by whether or not the classes they teach
were selected. For instance, the teachers teaching English Language, Setswana, and
Biology as compulsory subjects to the selected classes, were selected for participation
in the study. These teachers were approached, briefed and requested to participate.
Almost all the teachers selected agreed to cooperate. However, where a teacher
(whose class had been selected for participation) was unwilling to participate in the
study, another teacher of the same subject and teaching at the same level was randomly
selected, and if agreed, was included in the study, and his or her lessons were observed
instead. Some teachers only raised objections if they found that they were to be
observed more than once. In such cases, another teacher would be approached for
observation. This is the problem with random sampling: it is not possible to know all
the characteristics of the sample in advance, except the main ones that had to be predetermined before the selection of the sample was made. Others did not object to
being observed more than once, as long as they were observed in different levels (F 4
or F 5).
Similarly, for selection of teachers of non-compulsory subjects, such as Literature in
English, History, and Home Economics, the same selection technique was used where
there were more than two teachers. However, since in some of the schools there were
fewer teachers per subject (usually two), both were normally requested to participate in
the study as random sampling was unnecessary. Only teachers who were Setswana
speakers were included for participation in the study, because CS was likely to occur
between English and Setswana. The study, therefore, focused on CS in the classroom
mainly between English (as the LoLT) and Setswana (as the national language, and the
only local language taught in the schools from primary- to secondary-school level).
CS between English and the main local language spoken in the area (Ikalanga) was not
considered as this language is not taught in schools and therefore is not within the
scope of this study.
At least 20 teachers per school were expected to participate in the study (This was
almost 30% of the teachers per school), based on an average total of 70 teachers per
school (the Ministry of Education Establishment Register for Secondary Schools and
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Colleges of Education, 2003-4), bringing a total of at least 80 teachers in the study.
Looking at the entire population of the teachers in the four schools, 80 teachers
constituted 28.5% of the total. The researcher considered this to be a sufficient sample,
based on the views of Guilfoyle and Hill (2002, in Magogwe, 2005: 46) that the
selection of interview participants has little to do with numbers as the sampling is not
done to get enough people to participate, but to collect sufficient data. However, the
number of teachers included in the study also slightly increased due to two reasons.
First, classes of optional subjects were separate from classes of compulsory subjects,
hence the need to select such classes and their teachers separately. Second, because
the teachers of the selected optional subjects were relatively few in all four schools, all
were included in the study wherever possible, as sampling was not necessary.
Therefore, a total of 130 teachers were involved in the study.
3.5.2 Selection of subjects
For the selection of subjects to be included in the study, the researcher decided to use
the same subjects that had initially been selected during the pilot stage. As probability
random selection had been used in the pilot stage, the exercise was not repeated. The
researcher focused on the same subjects in each school, as all four schools taught the
same subjects. Five subjects were selected for study: two language-based ones -English Language and Literature in English (English L and L) and Setswana; one
content-based subject -- History; one science subject -- Biology; and one practical
subject -- Home Economics. While Literature in English is regarded as a subject
separate from English Language and is classified as an optional subject, the researcher
decided to treat it in the same way as English Language. Both subjects fall under the
English department in each school and, at times, a teacher of English Language may
also teach Literature in English. Furthermore, teachers of English Language and
Literature in English are expected to meet the same departmental objectives to ensure
the optimal teaching of English in both language and literature lessons to ensure that
learners are equipped with the four language domains of competence, namely
speaking; listening; writing; and reading in English to prepare them for further
education and / or for vocational purposes. Further, in Botswana, Literature in English
refers to both African and English Literature hence the subject is known as such and
not as English Literature as is usually the case in other countries. In this study,
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Literature in English will be used. Therefore reference to both English Language and
Literature in English will be abbreviated as English (L and L). Although the focus of
this study was mainly on English, Setswana was also included for observation to see if
the phenomenon of CS also featured during Setswana lessons and, if so, how and why
it occurred. The other subjects in the study were included for the same reasons.
Furthermore, the objective was to compare and contrast the language use in the lessons
of language-based and non language-based subjects to establish in which subjects CS
occurred. Ordinarily, one would not expect CS to take place during a lesson for a
language subject like English or Setswana as their focus is on improvement of
language proficiency among learners. However, an investigation was necessary to
confirm this assumption.
3.5.3 Selection of classes
At each school, at least 12 classes were selected as follows: Initially, six classes in
Form Four and six classes in Form Five (equivalent to the South African Grades Ten
and Eleven respectively) were selected to bring the total number of classes to be
involved in the study to 48 classes. However, the number of classes slightly increased
in some schools owing to a number of reasons: First, only three compulsory subjects -English Language, Setswana, and Biology -- could be observed within the context of
classes for core subjects. For optional subjects – History, Literature in English, and
Home Economics -- it became necessary to randomly select the classes separately as
the learners in the main classes were too few in each class to give a true picture of what
was actually transpiring in the classes in which these subjects were taught. As optional
classes are organized separately from classes of core subjects, learners in these classes
are drawn from different classes (of core subjects), but usually on the same level of
ability. Second, it was necessary to observe the lessons in these subjects to obtain an
holistic picture and not only to rely on data obtained from the questionnaire interviews.
An identification system in the form of letters of the alphabet was devised at each level
of classes (that is, F 4 and F 5). Each class was identified by the form of a letter, for
example, F 4 A, 4 B, and 4 C, and Form 5 A, 5 B, 5 C, and so forth. Then the
alphabets were written on pieces of paper that were put in a bowl. Because the same
number of classes had to be chosen at each level, an equal number of pieces were
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randomly picked, so the chosen classes were the ones which were included in the
study. The selection procedure also had to take into account the levels of ability of the
students in the classes. The reason was that at each school, classes had been precategorised into low ability, medium ability and upper ability as per the policy of the
Ministry of Education. This form of categorization was based on the results of the
learners’ Junior Certificate Examination. Low ability means that the learners were
judged to be academically weak; medium ability means that learners were moderate
achievers academically; and upper ability means that learners were high achievers
academically. From observation, how the learners performed in the examination of
Science subjects also seemed to be the major determinant of their categorization as
learners in the classes of upper ability did all the pure Science subjects. Those in the
category of medium ability did two Science subjects; and those in the category of low
ability did combined Science, which comprised some aspects chosen from each of the
three Science subjects. The objective of this categorization was to ensure that learners
of similar ability were taught together during Science lessons. Whether this approach
is effective or not was not part of the scope of this study.
3.5.4 Selection of learners
Initially, the researcher had planned to have 1 680 learners in the study, based on an
average class size of 35 students from a population of 7 092 (the Ministry of Education
Report on Allocation of Form Four candidates, 2004). This figure is based on the
school reports made available to the researcher (S 1: 1 616 learners in 2006; S 2: 2 400
learners in 2007; S 3: 1 442 learners in 2006; and S 4: 1 634 learners in 2007). This
was 23% of the total student population of the four schools over two years. This
selection was based on the guideline that if the population size were approximately 1
500, 20% should be sampled (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005: 207). However, it was found
that the average class size totalled approximately 40 students in each school and, in
some cases, the number per class exceeded 40. Hence a total of 2 763 learners were
involved in the study. This constitutes nearly 40% of the total population surveyed. In
the classes of optional subjects, numbers varied greatly, depending on the popularity of
a given optional subject in a school. In the words of one of the teachers, “… schools
are experiencing a paradigm shift due to a shift in emphasis from traditional subjects to
practical and Science subjects”. Some subjects that are regarded as traditional and as
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offering low career and job prospects are experiencing low enrolment in favour of
more practical and Science-based subjects that now seem to offer better career and
vocational prospects. All the learners in the selected classes, regardless of whether or
not they are speakers of Setswana, were included for participation in the study.
3.6 DATA-COLLECTION INSTRUMENTS
Appropriate devices were obtained to enable the researcher to collect the data via the
chosen research methods, namely qualitative and quantitative research methods.
For the qualitative research paradigm of the study, the main form of data collection
was observing and audio-tape recording of lessons, supplemented by note-taking on
what was physically taking place in the classroom but could not be captured on the
audio-tape recorder. As a back-up to the electricity-powered audio-tape recorder, a
battery-powered audio-tape was also obtained. This proved useful in schools where
electric sockets were out of order. Initially, the researcher’s physical presence in the
classroom and the visible audio-tape recorder used to record the lessons created unease
among some learners. However, as the lesson progressed, the learners relaxed and,
according to the judgement of the researcher, the dynamics of the lessons proceeded to
being normal. Some teachers also expressed discomfort at having their lessons being
recorded, and initially, in the classes of those teachers, the researcher observed some
uneasiness, but the teachers quickly relaxed and the lessons were conducted in a
normal manner. The researcher is confident that her presence in the classrooms and
the recording of the lessons had a minimal effect on the participants (both the teachers
and learners). Therefore the recorded data were authentic. Consequently, its analysis
and interpretation will provide a genuine picture of what transpired in the classes
observed as far as CS during the lessons is concerned.
For the quantitative aspect of the study, the main instrument for data collection was the
questionnaire interview. Data collection was done in two phases. The first stage
involved mainly the observation and audio tape-recording of lessons in the classroom.
The second stage involved the administration of the questionnaires to both the teachers
and the learners. It was important to administer the questionnaires after lessonobservation had taken place so that the atmosphere in the classroom was not unduly
influenced by the types of questions posed in the questionnaire. This was achieved as
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both the teachers and learners did not have prior knowledge of the research topic
(obtained from the questionnaire) so the quality and dynamics of the lessons were not
influenced by the contents of the questionnaire.
In addition to the use of the primary sources of data as stated above, published and
unpublished studies dealing with CS in general, and CS in educational settings in
particular, as well as similar studies dealing with English language teaching, served as
sources of secondary data, as did other documentation, such as government pamphlets,
print media, the Internet, as well as any other data encountered during the research
process that was relevant to the subject of the study.
3.6.1 The observation of lessons in the classroom
The observation of lessons in the classroom was appropriate for the qualitative part of
this study as it allowed the researcher to study the phenomenon of CS in the classroom
as it occurred. Owing to the absence of video recording, notes were taken down about
the physical environment of the classroom to give a clear picture of what was actually
taking place during the lessons. Although initially it was planned to video-record
lessons, it was not possible to do so due to the limited research budget. Even though
the visual scenario of the classrooms was not available and the researcher had to rely
on her note-taking skills to record what was happening in the classroom during the
observation of the lessons, the notes proved adequate. Unintentional as it was, the
negative effect for which the use of a video recorder in a class situation is known, such
as interruption and the artificial atmosphere that it may create, was eliminated.
Instead, a portable, transcribing tape-recorder was mainly used to capture data from the
lessons as accurately as possible.
Consequently, where necessary, the researcher made modifications as the data
collection progressed. Such unexpected modifications resulted in more than six classes
per stream, and therefore more than 12 classes in some schools. As a result, the
researcher observed 171 lessons for compulsory subjects, and 26 lessons for optional
subjects. In the end, a total of 197 lessons were observed and recorded. However, this
was not a disadvantage as a larger sample gives a more realistic picture. Other
researchers previously used large samples in a qualitative study (Bullock et al., in
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Brannen, 1992: 88). The audio-tapes of the recorded lessons are also available should
any reader wish to listen to them.
The researcher sat at the back of the class to minimize visibility from the learners,
which could perhaps detract from or even affect their behaviour in class. The teachers
appeared to have no problem with her presence. She neither asked any questions nor
made any comments during the lesson, as the researcher was a non-participant
observer. Participation in the lesson was not necessary as the data required were
naturally generated during the lesson by the participants (the teacher and learners).
This aspect is what differs about data collection in a formal situation such as the
classroom, as opposed to data collected from a social setting where participation of the
researcher may be necessary in some cases, or even inevitable (Mandubu, 1999: 21). If
there were any questions the researcher needed to ask the teacher or to comment on the
lesson, she normally asked them after the lesson had ended, when she and the teacher
could exchange views informally.
Twenty samples of the lessons have been transcribed. Owing to a lack of of space,
only five have been included as Addendum C of this study. The qualitative analysis of
the transcribed lessons was done by using Hymes’ SPEAKING model (Hymes, 1974)
described below. This model was useful in identifying instances of CS; at which stage
of the discourse it occurred; and why it occurred. The analysed data are presented in
Chapter Seven of this study.
(a) Hymes’ SPEAKING model
Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING, used here as a framework in the analysis of the
language behaviour in the lessons observed, was developed to promote the analysis of
discourse as a series of speech events and speech acts within a cultural context
(Hymes, 1974: 54 - 60). Because of its flexible application in the analysis of different
kinds of discourse, it was adopted for the analysis of the utterances made during the
lessons. The analysis enabled the identification of CS as a speech act that occurs in a
discourse that takes place in a teaching and learning environment. Depending on the
nature of the discourse, the components of the SPEAKING model can be wholly or
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partly applied. Therefore, only those speech components that are applicable in a
particular discourse situation can be used.
In the present study, the SPEAKING model in its entirety will serve as a point of
departure for Chapter Seven.
The SPEAKING model refers to the following features of the speech event:
S refers to Setting and Scene: Setting is the time and place of a speech act or the
physical environment of the speech act. In the present study, the setting is the
secondary school. Scene refers to the psychological setting of a scene in the form of
the nature of the events, namely, is the event serious, formal or informal? In the
present discourse, the scene is defined as formal and serious even though the level of
its seriousness is at the discretion of the teacher who is the director of the events.
P refers to Participants and audience; that is, those taking part in the speech event as
either speakers or listeners. In the present scenario, the teacher and the learners are the
participants and audience, interchangeably assuming the role of speaker and listener.
E refers to Ends: These are purposes, goals and outcomes of the speech event
(occasion). Here reference is to the reason(s) why the speech act is taking place. For
instance, is it to entertain, teach or to honour someone? The purpose of the speech act
in this case is to get the learners to participate in the development of the lesson and to
ensure that they understand its content.
A refers to the Act sequence, the form and the order of the event, that is, how the
speech act begins, develops and ends. This also includes what takes place and at which
stage it takes place during the course of the speech act. In this case, the act sequence
refers to the stage(s) at which CS is used during the lesson; that is, does it occur at the
initial stage of the lesson, during the development stage, or at the final stage of the
lesson; or does it occur throughout the lesson?
K refers to Key, the clues that establish the tone, manner, or spirit of the speech act.
The tone of the speaker’s voice gives an indication on whether the speech event
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(occasion) is formal or informal. Key refers to the overall manner of the speech event.
The way CS is used will give a cue as to whether it is used in a formal or an informal
way.
I refers to Instrumentalities (for example, CS), which are forms and styles of the
speech taking place. The nature of the occasion usually dictates the form and style to
be used, and these can be formal or informal. Formal registers may be chosen if the
occasion is formal; and they may involve the use of well-chosen grammatical
‘standard’ forms. Informal registers may be used if the occasion is semi-formal or
informal; they may involve the casual use of dialectical features. The registers may
also include the use of technical terms depending on the nature of the subject. In the
present study, the analysis will prove whether CS is used in the classroom in a formal
or an informal way, and which purpose it serves.
N refers to Norms. These are social rules that govern the event and the participants’
actions and reactions. They refer to school or classroom discourse that is also
culturally appropriate. The norms refer to behaviour that is socially acceptable in a
given context. The nature of the occasion dictates the type of norms that are expected.
If the occasion is formal, formal norms are expected; and if the occasion is informal,
then casual norms may be acceptable. For instance, in the former, the speaker(s) and
the listener(s) may be expected to conduct themselves in a formal way. These may
involve a formal presentation of the speech act by the speaker(s), and the formal and
orderly response from the listener(s). In the latter, it may be permissible for both the
speaker(s) and the listener(s) to act informally, such as by making jokes, and even
interrupting one another or the teacher. Since the study involves the investigation of
the role of CS in education, the analysis will seek to establish the type of norms that
govern how CS is used by both the teachers and learners. During the lessons, both
formal and informal norms appeared to govern the use of CS.
G refers to Genre; the form of speech that is being used. The genre is determined by
the nature of the speech act, that is, whether it is in oral or textual form. A genre could
be in the form of one of the following: a lecture, a sermon, a business letter or a written
speech. In the present study, as the speech act is a lesson taking place in a learning
situation, it is regarded as largely formal. The speech acts could be greetings at the
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beginning of the lesson, followed by explanations and questions at the development
stage of the lesson, and a summary at the closing of the lesson.
3.6.2 Questionnaire interview
Two sets of questionnaires were designed - one for the teachers and another for the
learners (cf. Addenda D and E) for the purpose of collecting the data in the form of
responses to the questions in the questionnaires. The responses were the respondents’
views on the problem under investigation. As mentioned earlier in section 3.2, para. 5,
the two questionnaires were largely structured since they comprised mainly the closeended questions. In addition, there were a few questions in each that were open-ended
(13 in the teachers’ questionnaire and 11 in the learners’ questionnaire). These
respectively constitute 6%, and 5% of the questions in the teachers’ and the learners’
questionnaire.
The questionnaires were detailed. They contained 205 entries and 232 entries for the
teachers’ and the learners’ questionnaires respectively. They were tailored to be
group-specific in some areas to solicit information specific to the category of the
participants. Both questionnaires carried the following sub-headings:
1.
The demographic details of the respondent;
2.
the respondent’s language profile;
3.
self-evaluation in language use;
4.
the views on the role of language in teaching and learning;
5.
CS in the classroom (between English and Setswana); and
6.
the use of other local languages in the classroom.
In addition, the teachers’ questionnaire contained:
1. the teaching profile that included the teacher’s highest qualification,
teaching experience, form (grade) taught, number of learners per class
taught, subject(s) taught; and
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2. the evaluation of learners’ language use in class.
The learners’ questionnaire contained an evaluation of the teachers’ language use in
class as another sub-heading.
The objective of the long questionnaire was to obtain as much information as possible
that would be relevant to the research questions in lieu of a direct interview with the
respondents. This was especially important for the learners as the questionnaire
interviews gave them an opportunity to respond to it without answering direct
questions posed by someone with whom they were not familiar (the researcher).
Because they were assured of anonymity, most of the learners appeared comfortable as
they completed the questionnaire in class. The researcher had also noted during lesson
observations that most of the learners were not confident enough to speak in English in
class. Therefore, when the questionnaires were being finalized, it was decided to
include all the issues that arose from lesson observations to better inform the study.
Therefore, additional questions were included in the questionnaires to eliminate the
need for a direct interview with both the teachers and the learners. However, the
confidence to speak English during a direct interview was not problematic for the
teachers.
A lack of additional funds to cover expenses that were to be incurred during another
field-research visit also necessitated the decision not to conduct an oral interview with
any group of participants. While being mindful of some of the short-comings of a
questionnaire interview that involved completion by the respondents instead of a faceto-face interview, the researcher, is nonetheless confident that the data gathered by
observing the lessons, complemented by the data collected via the questionnaires, will
provide a reliable picture of the language situation at the schools covered in the study,
and will sufficiently answer the main research question as well as its sub-problems.
(a) Administration of the teachers’ questionnaire
The questionnaire was distributed to all the teachers in the study, with the request that
it be completed and returned to the researcher before the end of the field research at
each school. The teachers were to respond to the questionnaire in their spare time and
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at a place of their own choice without undue pressure from the presence of the
researcher. Unlike the case of the learners, the researcher was confident that the
teachers would not encounter any problems associated with the language used in the
questionnaire.
The administration of the teachers’ questionnaire in all four schools took place without
any problem, and the majority of the teachers returned it to the researcher before her
departure from their schools. The overall return rate was good (72%). This includes
School Four, where there were some problems of class disruption while the research
was in progress.
(b) Administration of the learners’ questionnaire
The researcher personally administered the learners’ questionnaire. This minimized
the problems associated with questionnaire interviews.
Initially, the researcher had planned to use the learners’ preparation time (study time)
for the purpose of the questionnaire instead of normal class time, to minimize class
disruption, but it was not possible as all four schools had already scheduled their
standard class tests for various subjects to be written during preparation times. At one
of the schools, the situation was further complicated by the newly introduced, doubleshift system. The researcher was informed that some learners never turned up for
preparation time, which was now scheduled for mid-day, after the end of the morning
shift at school. Furthermore, preparation time had been arranged for the F 5 classes
only because they were completing their studies at senior secondary school and were
about to write their school-leaving examinations. No preparation time had been
arranged for the F 4 classes. Instead, the researcher arranged a special time with the
teachers involved in the study to allow her to meet the learners during one of their
lessons, so that each learner in the study could respond to the questionnaire at the same
time. This also allowed the researcher to explain the purpose of the research to the
learners and to ask them if they were willing to participate in the study. She was able
to clarify some questions that some learners had difficulty in understanding.
Therefore, ambiguity -- which often results in the misinterpretation of the items in the
questionnaire (when learners complete the questionnaire in their own time, and which
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could either lead to the provision of wrong information or the return of an incomplete
questionnaire owing to a lack of understanding) – was minimized. As a result, not
many entries were recorded as missing.
This approach positively influenced the return rate of the questionnaires. A total of 2
367 questionnaires were returned out of the 2 763 questionnaires that were handed out.
The return rate was therefore 86%. Because the learners’ questionnaire was completed
by the majority of the learners during normal class time and under the supervision of
the researcher, most of the learners provided their individual opinion without the
influence of their friends. Furthermore, the learners gave the completion of the
questionnaire the seriousness it deserved.
However, the problems associated with the questionnaire interview were not totally
eliminated. For instance, in some cases where the researcher could not secure the
normal class time to administer the questionnaire, it was distributed to the learners to
complete in their own time and to be collected the next day. In such cases, not all the
questionnaires were returned; there were more missing entries than in the
questionnaires completed during class time; and some misinterpretations of questions
were noted. This was more apparent at the school that was affected by the sudden
disruption of classes owing to the suspension from classes of learners whose school
fees had not been paid. The lesson observation stage was not seriously affected by this
unexpected occurrence, but the questionnaire administration exercise was. It was not
easy for the researcher to secure class time from some of the teachers concerned to
administer the questionnaire because some teaching time had been lost when teachers
had to cancel classes with a reduced number of learners present. As already
mentioned, the teachers instead offered to distribute the questionnaire to their classes
and then to collect them on the behalf of the researcher. As a result, the return rate for
the learners’ questionnaire at this school was affected (68%), while at the other three
schools it was well over 80%. Nonetheless, the number of questionnaires returned,
while being slightly lower than at the other three schools, was sufficient to give a
reliable picture of the language scenario at this school.
Notwithstanding the few problems outlined above, the overall return rate was
exceptionally high, and the quality of the responses was good. The researcher is
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therefore confident that the data provided by the learners will present a reliable picture
of the language situation generally and the problem under investigation (CS), in
particular, at the schools in the study.
3.7 DIMENSIONS OF VARIATION OR VARIABLES
The data in the questionnaires were mainly categorized into independent and
dependent variables. Independent variables are those variables that the researcher
studies as a possible cause of something (Leedy & Ormrod; 2005) or those key factors
that may influence how the respondents may perceive a particular issue. The
dependent variables are those that depend on the independent variables for their
interpretation in relation to the question at hand. Characterizing variables as either
independent or dependent varies from one study to another and what it seeks to
address. In the present study, the following independent variables were identified for
analysing the data obtained through the teachers’ questionnaire:
ƒ
gender;
ƒ
age;
ƒ
nature of dwelling (that is, is it a city, or town, or village?);
ƒ
district of origin;
ƒ
educational qualifications; teaching experience;
ƒ
home language;
ƒ
subject taught;
ƒ
the school setting (that is, urban or peri-urban); and
ƒ
self-evaluation in fluency in English as a language of teaching;
ƒ
Setswana as a national language and, to some extent,
ƒ
Ikalanga as the main local language of the area.
For the learners, the independent variables were:
ƒ
gender;
ƒ
grade;
ƒ
home language;
ƒ
nature of dwelling (that is, is it a city, town or village?);
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ƒ
district of origin;
ƒ
citizenship;
ƒ
school setting (urban or peri-urban);
ƒ
fluency in English as a language of learning;
ƒ
Setswana as a national language and, to some extent,
ƒ
Ikalanga as the main local language of the area.
While it was desirable to have age as an independent variable in the analysis of the
learners’ responses, this was not necessary as the age of the learners was largely
homogeneous. Approximately 91% of the learners were aged between 17 and 19;
close to 7% were aged between 14 and 16, while only 2% were aged between 20 and
24.
Only the independent variables directly related to the research questions were used in
further analyzing the dependent variables (also directly related to the main research
question) from the teachers’ and the learners’ questionnaires respectively. The details
of such variables are provided in the next chapter.
The choice of the independent variables identified above was found to be in order, as
similar studies that had also focused on the participants’ attitudes towards a
language(s), identified similar independent variables. Such studies were Baker’s study
on attitudes to the Welsh language (Baker, 1989, in Strydom, 2002, and Strydom’s
study on a sociolinguistic profile of Mamelodi and Attridgeville (Strydom, 2002). The
present study also seeks to identify and explain a language phenomenon, namely CS in
the classroom. According to Baker (1989: 41, in Strydom, 2002: 94) independent
variables can be regarded as determinants of language. However, he asserts that, “No
model, or even lists of factors that may make up attitudes to a language has appeared
to have been drawn up”.
Consequently, Baker compiled a list from previous studies on the attitudes towards
Welsh of what he referred to as possible ingredients that could serve as an overall
model that seeks to predict positive or negative attitudes towards a language. Because
CS is a language phenomenon, the researcher sought the use of Baker (1989)’s
approach in determining the independent variables for the present study. How each
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independent variable influences the dependent variables, will be discussed later in
Chapters Five and Six when the quantitative analysis of the teachers and the learners’
responses is done.
The corresponding dependent variables for both the teachers and learners were as
follows:
ƒ
the respondents’ views and attitudes towards CS and the extent of its use in the
classroom;
ƒ
the didactic consequences of CS in the classroom;
ƒ
the educational effects of CS in the classroom, including its effects on the nonSetswana speaking learners;
ƒ
the effects of CS on the pace of teaching and learning;
ƒ
its effects on the LiEP of Botswana;
ƒ
the respondents’ views on the revision of the LiEP; and
ƒ
the effects of the current LiEP on the respondents’ perceptions about the use of
Setswana, and other local languages for teaching and learning.
Broadly speaking, the dependent variables were summaries of the research questions.
The choice of the dependent variables listed above was based on the main problem that
the study sought to address as already stated in the preceding paragraph. The
investigation of CS in education cannot be divorced from the use of English and
Setswana. Therefore the participants’ views and attitudes on the use of these
languages, in addition to CS, were solicited. Each of these languages performs certain
specific functions for their speakers. Ammon (1989: 15-16, in Strydom, 2002: 97)
states that, “[…] each language fills a number of social functions […] the function of a
language is what it is used for – not its potential, but its use”.
According to Strydom (2002: 97-88), language domains vary from activity to activity,
and therefore some language functions are more important than others. For instance, in
Botswana, the degree to which a language of instruction such as English, is used at
school varies from the use of the same language in an activity like worshipping or
shopping or visiting government offices. Conversely, the degree to which Setswana is
used at school is not the same as its use at the shops or when visiting government
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offices. To some extent, the same can be said about Ikalanga as the local language of
the area. Consequently, the domains of language are dictated by the frequency of its
use in a particular activity. For example, English fulfils a higher functional domain in
education than Setswana and Ikalanga because of its status in the LiEP of Botswana.
While Setswana has a role to play in education, its role is limited in that officially it is
only taught as a subject at school, but not used for the teaching and learning of other
subjects. However, the occurrence of CS in the classroom is evidence that informally,
the functional domain of Setswana in education is growing, even though it is still
limited to spoken communication and never used in written communication except in
the written work for Setswana as a subject.
3.8 PRE-TESTING OF INSTRUMENTS
Pre-testing of any instrument that one chooses to use for data collection is very
important (Czaja & Blair, 2005; Davies, 2007; Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). By pretesting, the suitability as well as the reliability and validity (especially the
questionnaire interview) of the instrument can be established. To that effect, an
arrangement was made to pre-test the instruments to be used for the collection of the
qualitative and quantitative data before their actual use in the field. Using results from
the pre-test, the research instruments were finalized in readiness for the main field
research. Also, the experience gained from pre-testing assisted the researcher to better
prepare for the main field research. The strengths and limitations of each instrument
were noted and this information was used to improve the data-collection techniques.
The lesson-observation technique was pre-tested at a senior secondary school in
Gaborone where lessons in three subjects, namely History, English Language and
Literature in English were observed. Both single and double lessons were observed.
This was necessary to determine which length of duration of a lesson was more
suitable for data collection. This gave the researcher an opportunity to familiarize
herself with the instrument (transcribing / audio tape-recording system) that she
intended using to record the lessons, and to see whether it was suitable for that
purpose. The lessons recorded were then transcribed. From the results of the pre-test,
it was decided to observe only single lessons (40 minutes long) as it was found that
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there was sufficient information from a single lesson, and that a double lesson (80
minutes long) was too long to transcribe.
From the pre-test, the researcher found the audio-tape recording device user-friendly: it
was portable, easy to operate, and sensitive enough to pick the classroom discourse
even though the researcher sat at the back of the class.
Before the two questionnaires were administered to the participants in the study, they
were also pre-tested at two separate schools to ensure their reliability and validity. The
teachers’ questionnaire was given to a few teachers who were asked to complete it, and
then to make comments on its length, language level (whether it was too difficult or
too easy, as well as its clarity) and the appropriateness of its contents in relation to the
topic of the study. The respondents found the questionnaire contents easy to understand
and relevant to the topic under investigation. They also found its length to be not
intimidating, given that it was a structured questionnaire. The learners’ questionnaire
was also pre-tested by administering it to a group of learners in one class at another
school. After completing the questionnaire, the learners were asked if there was any
item or items in the questionnaire that they found too personal and therefore
uncomfortable to answer. They were also asked about the clarity of its language. The
researcher further wanted to know how much time was needed to complete the
questionnaire. The time-factor was especially critical for the learners’ questionnaire,
because it was necessary to know beforehand how much time would be required to
complete the questionnaire. Hence the researcher needed to arrange with the teachers
concerned some class time that would be used to administer the questionnaire to the
learners, so that they could complete and return it to her within the time given. The
comments received were also used to amend the questionnaires before formally
administering them to the participants.
3.9 INPUT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATISTICS
During the questionnaire design stage, the researcher closely worked with the
Department of Statistics of the University of Pretoria. This was important because the
data received through the questionnaire would have to be captured and analyzed
statistically for easier interpretation. The Department of Statistics assigned a
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statistician who advised on sample size and other matters of a statistical nature. The
services of the statistician were sought throughout the duration of the study as and
when the need arose. In addition, the computer programmer within the Department of
Statistics was the main contact person who acted as the research consultant. The
computer programmer advised on questionnaire design from its draft to its final stage.
This was to ensure that possible inherent problems such as ambiguity of the questions,
double meanings, and over-loaded questions, personal or oversensitive information
were eliminated; and that the items conformed to the statistical requirements. It was
also ensured that the two questionnaires (one for the teachers; another for the learners)
contained almost identical questions as the same phenomenon was being investigated
from the teachers’ and the learners’ points of view. Advice was also rendered on how
best to structure the questionnaire, including coding the responses by using the Likert
Scale (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005). This was appropriate for this type of study that was
investigating the participants’ opinions and attitudes towards a phenomenon namely
CS in the classroom. In some cases, a checklist (Leedy & Ormrod, 2005) was also
used. Both techniques were suitable as they made it easier and quicker for the
respondents to provide the responses. They also made it easier to evaluate and
quantify the respondents’ opinions and then interpret them statistically.
After the two questionnaires were piloted, the researcher manually coded the responses
and the computer programmer examined the responses to ensure that all codes
necessary for the interpretation were available. Where additional codes were required,
such advice was rendered.
The Department of Statistics also assisted with the entry of the manually coded data
from the completed questionnaire into the computer. This exercise was necessary in
readiness for statistical analysis of the data by using the appropriate statistics package.
Once data entry into the computer was complete, the data were proof-read and cleaned
for errors to ensure that coding would be consistent with the responses provided before
the analysis thereof could be done. This was also to ensure that the results generated
from the data were not different from the information provided by the respondents.
Once the researcher had cleaned the data, the analysis of the data commenced and the
results were presented in tabular form. The details of the data analysis are provided in
the next three chapters on the presentation of the quantitative data.
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3.10 ETHICAL ASPECTS
Ethical issues are very important to observe because human subjects are involved
(Davies, 2007; Hofstee, 2006; Leedy & Ormrod, 2005; Punch, 2003). Ethical issues
fall into one of four main categories, namely:
1. protection from harm;
2. informed consent;
3. the right to privacy; and
4. honesty with professional colleagues.
(Leedy & Ormrod, 2005: 101).
In the present study, informed consent was central because the study involved human
subjects, namely the teachers and learners in each school. Informed consent implies
that participants in the research be informed about the nature of the research to be
conducted and be given the choice to decide whether or not they are willing to
participate in the study. Although it was desirable that participants remained part of
the research until its completion, they were informed that, should anyone wish to
withdraw from the study at any stage, they were at liberty to do so.
In any research, giving too little or too much information about the study to the
participants can be problematic. The former borders on a violation of the principle of
informed consent, whilst the latter may influence the behaviour of the participants
during the study, hence may affect the results of the study. Leedy and Ormrod (2005:
101) suggest that:
“… a reasonable compromise is to give potential participants a general idea of
what the study is about … and to describe what specific activities their
participation will involve…to give them sufficient information to make a
reasonable, informed judgment about whether they wish to participate”.
Consequently, the researcher adhered to the principle of informed consent. While the
focus of the study was generally stated, the participants were given sufficient
information that enabled them to make a decision as to whether or not they wished to
participate in the study. For instance, participants were told that the objective of the
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study was to investigate ‘the role of language in the teaching and learning of different
subject categories, namely language-based subjects, content-based subjects, and
practical subjects’. A consent form was provided that contained a summary of the
research; the nature of participation required from volunteers, such as the activities in
which they would have to engage, the duration of the study, as well as a guarantee of
confidentiality and anonymity. The consent form included the researcher’s full contact
details and a pledge to make available the findings of the research to the participants
once the study was complete. In the same form, the teachers were required to sign if
they were willing to be participants in the study and, by extension, also gave consent
on behalf of their classes to be included in the study. The four schools were assured
that a summary of the results of the study would be made available to them after its
completion. However, once the study is over, participants would be informed about
the specific topic of the study.
To further adhere to the principle of informed consent, the researcher sought official
approval from the Ministry of Education in Botswana to undertake the research in the
schools stated. All documents associated with this process were made available to the
schools. All participants in the study remained anonymous, and confidentiality was
assured.
3.11 PROBLEMS ENCOUNTERED DURING THE FIELD-RESEARCH
STAGE
A number of problems were encountered during the field-research stage that
contributed towards the delay in completing the data collection process within the time
frame initially planned. First, there was a delay in processing the application for a
research budget by the Training Office of the University of Botswana. While the
researcher had planned to start the field research in May 2006, it was not possible to do
so until at the beginning of June 2006. Second, at the schools it was not always
possible to follow the lesson observation schedule drawn up in advance, due to a
number of factors. While almost all the teachers whose classes had been selected for
observation raised no objection, there were a few instances when some were unwilling
to be observed. In such instances, another class was randomly selected, the consent of
the teacher was sought and, if agreeable, included in the study. Sometimes some
classes in the study were unavailable for observation at the time agreed with the
125
teacher as he / she was absent from class due to illness, or was away on some official
commitments, or because a test had been scheduled at that time. In such cases, the
observation schedule had to be modified to accommodate such unexpected changes. In
some cases, a teacher appeared in the observation schedule more than once, but as a
result of teaching different classes. Most teachers had no objection, but whenever a
teacher raised an objection, another class was again randomly selected to include a
different teacher. The formalities of seeking his or her consent were followed before
the lesson could be observed. Consequently, a longer period was often spent at a
school than had been originally planned.
In some classes, electrical sockets were not working; therefore it was not possible to
use the recording system. Instead, a battery-operated mini-cassette recorder was used.
Because of its small size, permission from the teacher was sought to place the minicassette recorder on his or her table at the beginning of the lesson to capture the lesson
as it was being delivered. This was supplemented with active note-taking, not only of
what was physically taking place in the class, but also of the lesson presentation and
discussions. The position of the mini cassette-recorder had no adverse effect on either
the delivery of the lesson by the teacher or the participation of the learners in the
lesson. Some school events, and numerous public holidays, also affected the smooth
flow of the data-collection process.
Finally, the research funds were exhausted before the field research was completed.
Therefore, another break from the field research was unavoidable. An application for
supplementary research funds was made to the sponsors. These were, fortunately,
made available, and although limited, enabled the researcher to complete the datacollection stage.
3.12 CONCLUSION
This chapter discussed the study design and the methods that were used to collect the
data, both quantitative and qualitative. The quantitative method involved the use of the
questionnaires to collect the data from the teachers and learners. How each
questionnaire was administered or managed, was also explained.
126
The qualitative method involved lesson observations to determine if CS were used in
the classroom, and by whom. The research site was described, as well as the sample
size and the sampling procedures. Hymes’ SPEAKING model was also described
because of its relevance to the analysis of the qualitative data. Concerning the data in
the questionnaires, both the independent and the dependent variables were described.
Pre-testing of the data collection instruments was also explained.
The role of the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria in the design of
the research instrument, namely the questionnaire, as well as analysing the data
quantitatively, was briefly explained. Ethical aspects observed during the field
research were also described. Finally, unforeseen problems experienced during the
data-collection stage were also articulated in this chapter.
The next chapter discusses the quantitative analysis method that was used in the
analysis of the quantitative data presented in Chapters 4, 5 and 6. The demographic
and language profiles of both the teachers and learners are presented in the next
chapter.
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CHAPTER FOUR
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE DATA:
RESPONDENTS’ DEMOGRAPHIC AND LANGUAGE PROFILES
4.1 INTRODUCTION
The present chapter and the next two chapters are devoted to the presentation and
analysis of the quantitative data collected by analysing the questionnaires. As pointed
out earlier in Chapter 3, section 3.4.2, paragraph one, there were two sets of
questionnaires -- one for the teachers, and the other for the learners. The
questionnaires are included at the end of this study report as Addenda D and E
respectively. The two questionnaires were aimed at obtaining an holistic picture of the
research sites and the participants in the study. Thereafter, only the data directly
related to the research questions were included in this study for further analysis of the
data from the teachers’ and the learners’ questionnaires respectively. This data form
the basis for this chapter and the next two chapters; and are also presented in tabular
format within the study in the respective chapters. Owing to a lack of space, the data
obtained through further analysis of the dependent variables by independent variables
are not presented in tabular format but only reported on in the next two chapters.
While the rest of the data will not be used in the present study, it is nonetheless
valuable and will be utilized later in addressing other research issues of a
sociolinguistic nature and, among others, the politics of language.
The responses provided by the respondents represented their views on English as the
official language and the main LoLT in the schools. Further, their views were given on
Setswana as the national language and the only local language taught in the schools; on
its role in education; as well as their views on CS between these two languages and its
role in education. The respondents’ views on the role of other local languages in
education and / or CS to them were also solicited. The researcher referred to Ikalanga
only as the main local language in the area in which the study was performed.
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4.2 QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA FROM THE
QUESTIONNAIRES
The data were analysed quantitatively using exploratory statistics. The general
purpose of exploratory statistics is to help the researcher to closely investigate the
patterns in the data and to identify the information that emerges from it. Subsequently,
it allows the researcher to ‘ransack’ the data (Milroy, 1987: 138-139, in Strydom,
2002: 102). Some of the advantages associated with exploratory statistics are as set out
below:
ƒ
It is quick to use and presents the data in a way that errors that may have
occurred during the data-coding or data-inputting stage are easily found.
ƒ
It allows for the presentation of the data in the form of tables expressed in
nominal values and percentages, which allows for easy interpretation (Strydom,
2002: 102).
ƒ
Other visually appealing presentations such as graphs and pie charts can also
be used.
ƒ
Because these forms of data presentation are user friendly, they allow for easy
scrutiny of the data and quick identification of the patterns that emerge.
ƒ
Consequently, exploratory statistics allows for easy interpretation of the results.
Strydom (2002: 102) rightly refers to exploratory statistics as “highly
systematized common sense”.
4.3 STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF THE DATA
The professional assistance of the Department of Statistics at the University of Pretoria
was sought in the statistical analysis of the data from the questionnaires, as well as for
testing the results for statistical significance. A statistical programme known as SAS
version 8.2 was used to establish the distribution of the scores. Descriptive statistics in
the form of frequencies and percentages were calculated on single variables for each
question in the questionnaire. The statistics included the mean, median, standard
deviation, minimum and maximum values. Two-way contingency tables were set up,
summary statistics were calculated, and the results interpreted.
129
A Chi-square test was done on certain two-way tables. This test is used to measure the
relationship between two variables, both of which are measured at a nominal level.
The Chi-square test is very sensitive to large samples and is ‘almost always’ significant
when the sample size is large; such as the learners’ sample in this study. Therefore, the
effect size should be reported together with the Chi-square statistics. The ‘effect size’
is a measure of the strength of the relationship between two variables. If a significant
relationship were to be found between two variables, the effect size was calculated to
confirm whether the relationship was real or by chance. The magnitude of the effect
size is measured by Cramer’s V, and can be classified into three categories, namely
small, medium, and large, according to the degree of freedom in the contingency table.
The ranges for the effect size used in this study were as follows:
ƒ
Small effect size: 0.07 -- 0.21 (also 0.21 -- 0.30: small to medium effect
size)
ƒ
Medium effect size: 0.31 -- 0.5
ƒ
Large effect size: 0.51 upwards
Small effect size implies that the results were largely influenced by the size of the
sample; and therefore there is only a small association between the respondents’
opinion and reality. Medium effect size implies that the results were not strongly
influenced by sample size: there is a medium association between opinion and the view
expressed; and large effect size implies that there is reasonable relationship between
the respondents’ opinion and the view expressed in reality.
According to Robinson (1996: 66), a statistical test is “vital” to determine a statistical
relationship between attributes, and to determine the strength of that relationship.
According to Fasold (1984: 85-91, in Strydom, 2002), through numbers, statistics
provides the researcher with a way of finding out what the observations made about the
data mean. Consequently, the results of the statistical tests are described as either
highly significant, significant, or not significant; and are expressed as follows:
•
Less than 0.01: Highly significant as it suggests that there is a statistical
relationship of high significance between respondents’ opinions about a
particular variable and the independent variable being tested.
130
•
Less than 0.05: Significant as it suggests that there is a statistical relationship of
significance between the respondents’ opinion on a particular variable and the
independent variable being tested.
•
Greater than or equal to 0.05 up to < 0.10: Not significant but it suggests that
there is a tendency for a relationship of statistical significance between the
respondents’ opinion about the dependent variable and the independent variable
being tested.
When the results of a statistical test are described as ‘highly significant’, it means that
the results obtained from the study are highly likely to be true in reality, within a
margin of error of 5%.
Fisher’s Exact Test was used to test for the significance of the association between two
variables where sample sizes were small, such as in the case of the teachers’ sample in
this study.
The statistical tests were done to determine whether or not the generalisations made
about CS in the classroom were true. Therefore, in addition to the statistical
significance of the results, the effect size is also stated in relation to the learners’
views. The descriptions above apply where there is a statistical significance (in both
the teachers’ and the learners’ views), and where there is effect size (in the learners’
views only). In this regard, the results of the statistical tests are presented in Chapter
Five (the teachers’ results) and Chapter Six (the learners’ results). The latter include
results on the effect size.
Concerning the teachers’ results, a statistical test was applied to the data where the
values were significant. However, where the numbers were too small, either the results
of similar options were combined before the test was effected, or such results were
excluded from statistical testing and the data were merely described. For example, on
home language for teachers, only the results of Setswana and Ikalanga were tested for
statistical significance. The results of the other languages (English and those
collectively reported on as ‘others’) were merely described because only a few teachers
were involved in this exercise. In addition, in some of the responses where ‘Not sure’
was one of the options, it was included as a possible optional response where it was
131
deemed to be a legitimate answer. However, where the respondents could have given a
definite opinion, ‘Not sure’ was excluded from the statistical tests.
4.4 PRESENTATION OF THE ANALYSED DATA IN THE PRESENT
CHAPTER
The present chapter is much more general than the others, and is divided into three
main sections:
1. The first section deals with the respondents’ demographic details, which
include the description of their personal and professional / academic details.
2. The second section deals with the respondents’ language profile, which
includes their home language, their proficiency in English and Setswana,
and where they learnt to speak these two languages. It is believed that the
respondents’ proficiency in the two languages influences the rate of CS
between them.
3. The third section presents the respondents’ views about how they use
English and Setswana in different spheres of life. Their responses were
solicited to reveal the importance that they attach to these two languages as
either high-function languages (formal context) (HFFC) such as their use in
official matters, or low-function (formal context) (LFFC) languages, such
as during discussions on non-educational matters in the classroom.
The results were not subjected to further analysis using independent variables, as the
intention was to present a general picture of the participants with respect to their
demographic details, language profile and the importance they attach to the use of
Setswana and English in different domains. Consequently, statistical tests were not
applied to the results. Instead, the statistical tests were applied to the teachers’ and
learners’ analysed data as has already been reported. These are the data (including the
qualitative data in Chapter Seven), which also directly addressed the research questions
presented in Chapter Eight.
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4.5 BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
As described in Chapter Three, the participants were teachers and learners drawn from
four senior-secondary schools in the north-eastern region of Botswana, identified here
as Schools One and Two (urban schools), and Schools Three and Four (peri-urban
schools).
4.5.1 Teachers
As explained earlier in Chapter Three, all the teachers in the study were citizens of
Botswana who could speak both English and Setswana. This was necessary as the
study set out to investigate CS mainly between English and Setswana in the classroom.
The majority of the teachers (91%) hold a first degree in their disciplines, and a
Postgraduate Diploma in Education; nine percent hold a Masters degree, and higher.
This is consistent with the Government’s policy that all teachers teaching at seniorsecondary school level should be in possession of at least a first degree and a teaching
qualification. Therefore, all the teachers are considered to be professionally well
qualified as they meet the minimum educational requirements stipulated by the
government. Ninety-two percent of the teachers teach at both Form Four and Form
Five levels; and only eight teachers (8%) teach at either of the two levels. The
teaching load per teacher ranged from 30 to 267 learners. The average teaching load
per teacher was 144 learners (cf. a histogram below produced as Graph 4.1). The
maximum teaching load was common among the teachers of the core subjects because
of the large number of the learners involved.
133
Graph 4.1: A histogram showing the average teaching load (number of students
per teacher) across the four schools
Histogram of LOAD
30
28
26
24
Number of teachers
22
20
18
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
180
200
220
240
260
280
Total number of students
The majority of the teachers (65%) learnt Setswana mainly at home and 83% learnt
English mainly at primary school. This shows the functions of the two languages -Setswana as primarily the language of the home, and English primarily as the language
of education. In addition, 23% of the teachers learnt Setswana at school, in line with
the policy of the Government of Botswana that Setswana be a compulsory subject at
primary school for all Batswana learners, irrespective of whether or not they are
enrolled in private or government schools. This policy also enabled those who did not
know Setswana to learn it. Another 12% learnt Setswana from other sources apart
from home or school, such as on the playground. The latter two instances confirm that
some teachers had a home language other than Setswana.
134
300
4.5.2 Learners
The learners were both speakers and non-speakers of Setswana. The former spoke
Setswana as either their MT or as a second language. They constituted 99.33% of the
learners. The latter were residents of Botswana owing to the employment status of
their parents. These learners constituted 0.67% of the learners. They usually used their
MT and / or English at home. It was necessary for the study to be inclusive to better
understand the effect of CS use in the classroom among the two categories of learners.
The age of the learners ranged from 14 to 24, with the majority of the learners (78%)
being between the ages of 17 and 18. Nearly 7% were aged between 14 and 16.
Fourteen percent were aged between 19 and 20; and only 0.51% (ten learners) were
older than 20 years. The age distribution of the learners was largely homogeneous.
Like the teachers, the majority of the learners (75%) learnt to speak Setswana at home,
and learnt to speak English at primary school (72%). This suggests that Setswana is
mainly learned from family members, while English is mainly learned from the
teacher(s) at school.
A further 17% learnt Setswana at primary school, and another 9% learnt it from
another source apart from the home or school, thereby confirming a similar observation
made earlier about the teachers that some learners had a home language other than
Setswana. Furthermore, 17% of the learners learnt English at home compared to 6% of
the teachers. These percentages suggest that English may be a home language for
some of the learners.
The independent variables used above to give background information on both the
teachers and learners were not used to further analyse the dependent variables as the
data were largely homogeneous. However, the independent variables described below
were used to further analyse the respondents’ views on the dependent variables.
Please note that the following legends are used in this study:
M = Male; F= Female; N = Total in number (nominal value)
Eng. = English; Sets. = Setswana; M Frq = Missing Frequency; Frq = frequency;
Lang. = Language
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4.6 DEMOGRAPHIC DETAILS ABOUT THE TEACHERS
The demographic details about the teachers are presented below:
(a) School and gender
Table 4.1: Teachers’ distribution by school and gender
School
1. School 1
2. School 2
3. School 3
4. School 4
Total
Male
N
6
14
9
12
41
Female
N
%
16
73
14
50
11
55
12
50
53
56
%
27
50
45
50
44
Total
N
%
22
100
28
100
20
100
24
100
94
100
Table 4.1 presents the results by school and gender of the distribution of the teachers
who participated in the study. Initially, there were 130 teachers involved in the study
but only 94 teachers returned the completed questionnaires. These comprised of 41
male teachers (44%) and 53 female teachers (56%). Thus there were more female
teachers than male teachers in the study. School One had the smallest proportion of
male participants (27%) and the largest proportion of female participants (73%), while
the distribution by gender at Schools Two and Four was equal (50%). The situation at
School Three was similar to that of the other two schools even though there were a few
more female teachers (55%) than male teachers (45%).
(b) Age
Table 4.2: Teachers’ distribution by age
Age range
1. Under 25 years
2. 25 yrs to 30 yrs
3. 31 yrs to 40 yrs
4. Over 40 yrs
Total
Total
N
1
26
56
9
92
%
1
28
61
10
100
Please note: the missing frequency (frq) is two (2)
Table 4.2 above shows that the majority of the teachers (61%) fell within the range of
31to 40 years old, suggesting that the majority of the teachers were well experienced.
136
It remains to be seen whether age was a significant factor pertaining to the use of CS in
the classroom later when the dependent variables using age are analysed.
(c) Teaching experience
Table 4.3: Teaching Experience
Experience
1. Under 1 yr
2. 1-5 yrs
3. 6-10 yrs
4. 11-15 yrs
5. Over 15 yrs
Total
Total
N
1
32
30
21
5
89
%
1.12
35.9
34.33
23.59
5.6
100
Please note: the missing frequency is five (5).
Table 4.3 above presents a summary of the teachers’ professional experience grouped
into five-year intervals for ease of reference. From the raw data, their teaching
experience ranged from less than one year to 28 years. The majority of the teachers
(70%) fall within the teaching experience range of one to ten years; and the average
teaching experience for the majority of the teachers is eight years. The 29% who have
more than ten years teaching experience could, therefore, be considered to be well
experienced. The least experienced teacher (less than one year experience) was also
the youngest at 25 years of age, suggesting that she was newly employed. The
teachers’ experience is important as its influence on their views on CS will be
investigated.
(d) Subjects taught
Table 4.4: Teachers’ distribution by subject taught
Subject
1. English Language
2. English Literature
2. Setswana
3. Biology
4. History
4. Home Economics
Total
Teachers
N
%
24
25
9
10
25
27
21
22
8
9
7
7
94
100
137
Table 4.4 above shows that 62% of the teachers were language teachers (English and
Setswana). English and Setswana are referred to as language subjects because their
focus is mainly on the improvement of the learners’ proficiency in language. The other
38% comprised of teachers who taught content subjects (Biology, History, and Home
Economics).
The subjects are further classified into core and optional subjects. The former are
Biology, English Language and Setswana; and make up 74% of the total. These
subjects have the highest number of teachers because they are offered to all the
learners. Setswana is offered as an optional subject to non-Batswana learners. The
latter are History, Home Economics and Literature in English and make up 26% of the
teachers in the study. These subjects have a low number of teachers because of the low
numbers of learners who read for them. Therefore, the low numbers of the teachers of
optional subjects in the study are consistent with the low numbers of these teachers at
the schools that the researcher visited.
While CS is normally not expected in a language class, these subjects were nonetheless
included in the study to establish whether CS occurs during the lessons of these
subjects, and the extent of its occurrence. Therefore, the effect of the nature of the
subject taught on CS use was investigated, and its occurrence in the two categories of
subjects compared (cf. Chapter 5).
4.7 LANGUAGE PROFILE OF THE TEACHERS
The language profile of the teachers deals with their home language as well as their
degree of fluency in speaking, reading, writing and understanding of English and
Setswana and, to some extent, Ikalanga, the local language of the area. The latter will
be applicable only to the speakers of this language. The study focuses on English (the
official language) and Setswana (the national language) because of their status in the
country in general, and their pivotal role in the education system in particular.
138
(a) Home language (HL)
Table 4.5: Teachers’ home language (HL)
Home Language
Total
N
52
17
3
3
3
4
0
11
93
1. Setswana
2. Ikalanga
3. English
4 Setswana and Ikalanga
5. Setswana and English
6. Setswana, Ikalanga and English
7. Ikalanga and English
8. Other languages
Total
%
56
18
3.2
3.2
3.2
4.3
0
12
100
Please note: Missing Frq (M Frq): HL: 1
The results in Table 4.5 above show that Setswana is the home language for the
majority of the teachers (56%), followed by Ikalanga at 18%, and English is the home
language of a very small number of the teachers (3%); 10.7% spoke more than two
home languages, suggesting that some of the respondents were bilinguals at home.
The remaining 12% was made up of ‘other’ languages, spoken by very few speakers or
none at all.
The influence of HL as an independent variable on the respondents’ views on CS was
investigated. The linguistic typology was earlier discussed in the introductory part of
Chapter One (cf. paragraph 1.1).
Table 4.6: Teachers’ subjective proficiency rating in English and Setswana
Domains of
Language
competency
1. Speaking
2. Reading
3. Writing
4. Understanding*
Lang.
Eng
Sets
Eng
Sets
Eng
Sets
Eng
Sets
Fluent
N
76
80
85
73
81
74
76
78
%
83
86
93
79
90
80
84
84
Moderately
N
16
12
6
19
9
16
14
14
%
17
13
7
20
10
17
15
15
*Not that well /
Not at all
N
%
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
3
3
*1 0 *1 0
*1 0 *1 0
Total
N
92
92
91
92
90
93
91
93
%
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
* Understanding only
139
M
Frq
N
2
2
3
2
4
1
3
1
Table 4.6 above illustrates the teachers’ subjective views on their competence in the
four language domains, and are based on self-rating by the teachers. The results show
that the majority of the teachers considered themselves to have acquired competence in
both English and Setswana. However, when comparing the teachers’ fluency in the
two languages, the following were significant:
•
There were more teachers who said that they were fluent speakers of Setswana
than in English (87% as opposed to 83%);
ƒ
the same proportion of teachers (84%) said they understood English and
Setswana very well;
ƒ
there were more teachers who said that they were proficient writers in English
than those who said so about Setswana ((90% as opposed to 80%); and
ƒ
there were more teachers who said they read fluently in English than those
who said the same about Setswana (93% as opposed to 79%).
In the teachers’ views, their writing and reading skills were better in English than in
Setswana, while their speaking skill was better in Setswana than in English. However,
the same proportion of the teachers gave their understanding of Setswana and English
the same rating.
It is not clear why the teachers considered themselves to be more proficient in writing
and reading in English than in Setswana. One would have expected the majority of the
teachers to be more fluent readers and proficient writers of Setswana than English
since more than half of them (56%) have Setswana as a home language. One can only
surmise that attitudes towards the two languages are contributory factors. Setswana is
considered not as important as English. English as the official language and a
language associated with education, as well, career and job opportunities was
considered to be very prestigious, while Setswana was not as prestigious because of its
limited educational, career and job opportunities. This could have been investigated
through an oral interview. Unfortunately, though desirable, this was not possible due
to limited research funds and time. As this aspect was beyond the scope of this study,
future research could address the issue. The present study focused on the oral aspect
of communication, namely, speaking as the key factor in CS. This issue is examined
further in Chapter 8 in the discussion of the responses to the research questions.
140
Furthermore, one teacher indicated that he could not read Setswana that well and three
teachers also indicated that they could not write in Setswana. The reason for this
anomaly is not clear but one can only surmise that these teachers are likely to be
teachers who are citizens by naturalization and that Setswana is not their home
language. However, their number is insignificant and therefore has no bearing on the
results.
It is also not surprising that more teachers considered themselves to be more fluent
speakers of Setswana than of English because Setswana as the national language is
spoken inside and outside the school. Furthermore, Setswana is the home language of
more than 56% of the teachers. This has implications for CS and will be examined
further when the data that address the research questions are analysed. It is also not
clear why the same proportion of teachers (84%) gave their understanding of Setswana
and English the same rating. One would have expected more teachers to understand
Setswana better than English just as more said that they were more fluent speakers of
Setswana than of English. One teacher indicated that he did not understand Setswana
well. This teacher may be a citizen by naturalization as previously explained. Another
teacher indicated that he did not understand English well. This view is interpreted to
mean that this particular teacher considered himself to be not fluent enough in English
since all teachers should have studied in English, and also used English as the LoLT
apart from Setswana teachers.
In further examining the data above, Cummins’ (1979) concepts of BICS and CALP
can be applied. The former refers to Basic Interpersonal Communicative Skills learnt
in a period of about two to three years, and the latter refers to Cognitive Academic
Language Proficiency that is acquired within five to seven years and enables a learner
to be on the same level with his / her native-speaking counterpart in the classroom.
The learner should be in a language-support programme in an environment that is
largely English speaking, such as the USA or Britain. BICS are language skills needed
in social situations to interact with people on a day-to-day basis in a particular
language, for instance, when one is on the playground, during lunchtime, on a school
trip or at parties or when talking to a friend or relative on the telephone. BICS is
employed for social interactions and is neither specialized nor cognitively demanding.
On the other hand, CALP refers to formal academic learning of a particular language,
141
and learning other academic subjects through that language and is cognitively
demanding. It refers to ‘decontextualised communication that takes place in the
classroom’ (Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia on the Internet).
CALP
(http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_Interpersonal_Communicative_Skills):
… involves the ‘language of learning’ which enables children to problemsolve, hypothesize, imagine, reason and project into situations with which
they have no personal experience. It is a prerequisite for learning to read
and write and for overall academic success.
CALP enables learners to process information that can be obtained by reading
academic texts that may contain abstract terms that refer to concepts or by reading
literature texts such as poems, novels and drama with the aim of synthesizing
information. This would include being able to describe an event or an experiment,
define or explain a concept, summarize an idea, ascribe logical reasoning to a situation,
and provide answers to the teachers’ questions in the LoLT.
In the present study, teachers have BICS in both Setswana and English. They can
communicate in social situations in either Setswana or English because Setswana is a
home language for many of them and also a national language used for social
interaction. English as a subject and an LoLT introduced at elementary level of
primary schooling is also acquired for interpersonal communication in social
situations. Teachers consider themselves to be proficient enough in Setswana and
English to such and extent that they are able to learn through these languages.
With respect to learners, BICS and CALP imply that learners’ proficiency in the
second language or the language of the classroom needs to be sufficiently well
developed for the learner to learn by using it and meet the cognitive academic demands
required in a formal learning environment.
The data provided by the teachers regarding their proficiency in both Setswana and
English imply that although they have acquired CALP in both languages, their reading
142
and writing domains of language competence are better developed in English than in
Setswana. These are skills learnt in a formal educational environment such as a
school. However, the majority of the teachers also considered themselves to be more
fluent in speaking Setswana than English. This is to be expected, given that Setswana
as the national language is learnt before schooling and at school, and is also spoken
inside and outside the classroom. English as the official language is learnt and mainly
used at school. Outside the school system, it is used in Government, Parliament, the
media, and the judiciary. Regarding understanding as a domain of language
competence, teachers rated their understanding of both languages equally. However,
the researcher assumes that teachers were specifically referring to the understanding of
both languages at BICS level. At the level of CALP, the implication is that teachers
would rate the understanding of Setswana higher than that of understanding English,
hence CS in the classroom. As CS mostly involves speaking, only proficiency in
English as an independent variable was used to further analyse the dependent variables.
Furthermore, English proficiency is the focus of this study as the official LoLT.
The following bar chart illustrates a summary of the teachers’ subjective rating of their
self-evaluated rate of fluency in the four language domains of speaking, understanding,
reading and writing in English and Setswana. The chart shows that the difference in
proficiency between English and Setswana is not that significant.
Graph 4.2: Teachers’ proficiency rate in English and Setswana
143
4.7.1 Teachers’ language use
In this section the results on the teachers’ views about the functional domains of
English and Setswana are presented. These include the language teachers preferred to
use for social and educational purposes, as well as during worship and during official
occasions. The results also show the importance teachers attach to these two languages
in different domains. From the results, the teachers’ views on the functional domains
of English and Setswana and to a limited extent, mother tongue, will be revealed.
Table 4.7: Teachers’ views on preferred language for social use
1. Setswana
2. English
4. Setswana and English
4. Other (MT)
5. Setswana and Other (MT)
6. English and Other (MT)
7. Setswana, English & other
(MT)
Total
M Frq.
Family
N
%
50
53
2
2
10
11
22
24
5
5
2
2
3
3
Friends
N
%
50
54
6
7
17
19
2
2
2
2
0
0
15
16
Colleagues
N
%
36
41
16
18
26
29
1
1
0
0
0
0
10
11
Strangers
N
%
25
32
31
40
20
26
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
94
0
92
2
89
5
78
16
100
100
100
100
MT = Mother Tongue
The data in Table 4.7 above indicate the following:
ƒ
Setswana was the most preferred language to use socially, and English was
the least preferred (family: 53% vs. 2%; friends: 54% vs. 7%; colleagues:
41% vs. 18%).
ƒ
English was the most preferred when speaking to strangers and colleagues
but Setswana was the least preferred (40% vs. 32%).
ƒ
MT (excluding Setswana) was mostly preferred when speaking to family
members but the least preferred when speaking to friends and colleagues,
and never used when speaking to strangers.
ƒ
MT was strictly used within the family and it was preferred after Setswana
(53% vs. 24%). Beyond the family, its use diminished.
144
ƒ
Dual use of English and Setswana was common when communicating with
colleagues, strangers, and friends; and the least common when
communicating with family members.
ƒ
When speaking to friends and colleagues, teachers could use any or all three
the languages (Setswana, English, and MT). However, this form of
communication was least likely at family level or even when speaking to
strangers (16% and 11%, vs. 3% and 1%).
ƒ
The use of Setswana and MT or English and MT minimally occurred when
speaking to family members (5% and 2%), and was hardly or never used
when speaking to friends, colleagues or to strangers. This confirms that
there were very few teachers who had both Setswana and another language
as their MT.
The information suggests the following:
ƒ
Setswana was the main language of social interaction as per its national status,
but English was the language of professional and business interaction. Hence
Setswana was considered a LFIC language, but English was a HFFC language.
ƒ
CS between English and Setswana was likely to occur when speaking to
different categories of speakers. This confirms the status of the two languages
in the country.
ƒ
Some teachers were bilingual or even multilingual speakers, therefore CS
between the three languages was likely to occur.
ƒ
CS between Setswana and a MT or English and a MT was least likely to occur,
and where the speakers involved had a common MT, it was used exclusively
without using Setswana or English.
145
Table 4:8: Teachers’ perceptions about the value of English and Setswana
Very Important
1. Development of selfconfidence and abilities
2. To be respected by
family
3. To be respected by
friends
4. To be respected by
one’s community
5. To follow radio
programmes
6. To follow TV
programmes
7. For job opportunities
in Botswana
8. To participate in public
discussions
Lang
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
N
63
28
14
19
19
10
25
20
62
34
64
29
70
9
67
41
%
69
31
15
21
20
11
27
22
67
37
68
32
75
10
73
46
Important
N
25
42
33
28
50
36
40
40
28
48
28
47
21
48
22
40
%
27
46
36
31
54
40
43
44
30
53
30
52
23
53
24
44
Not
Important
N
%
4
4
21
23
46
49
44
48
24
26
45
49
28
30
31
34
3
3
9
10
2
2
15
16
2
2
34
37
3
3
9
10
Total
N
92
91
93
91
93
91
93
91
93
91
94
91
93
91
92
90
M
Frq
N
2
3
1
3
1
3
1
3
1
3
0
3
1
3
2
4
%
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
The information in Table 4.8 above indicates that the majority of the teachers value
competence in English more than competence in Setswana. They regard English
competence as very important and Setswana competence as only important for
psychological functioning; entertainment through the mass media; and in HFFC such
as job opportunities and participation in public discussions. The results suggest that,
without doubt, English is regarded as a HFFC language consistent with its status as the
main language of communication in all official domains.
For social functions such as personal interaction with family, in friendships and at
community level, competence in both languages is considered important. However,
more teachers attached value to English than to Setswana in their interaction with
friends (74% vs. 51%). The results suggest that English is viewed as a marker of
social status. One would prefer to choose friends who have a similar educational
background as the speaker. Yet both languages are used as LFIC. At family and
community levels, there was no significant difference in the importance attached to
both languages (51% vs. 52%; and 70% vs. 66% respectively). At the level of the
family, both languages are used as LFIC, but at the level of the community, they are
used as HFFC languages. At family level, not much importance is attached to
competence in English or Setswana because in the area in which the study was
146
conducted, Ikalanga is predominantly spoken (53% of the teachers indicated that they
speak Ikalanga fluently or moderately fluent, including over 26% who indicated
Ikalanga was a home language or one of the home languages). At community level,
the distinct roles of the two languages -- Setswana as a national language and English
as the official language -- become evident. Further, the two languages are used side by
side to communicate government plans.
Table 4.9: The importance that teachers attach to Setswana in education
Institution
1. Primary school
2. Secondary school
3. College*
4. University
Very Imp
N
62
39
11
7
%
70
44
13
8
Imp
N
20
39
30
23
Not Imp
%
22
44
34
26
N
7
11
47
59
%
8
12
53
66
Total
N
89
89
88
89
%
100
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
5
5
6
5
*Please note the following: College is a tertiary-education institution offering
certificates and diplomas but not at the level of a university.
Please note: Very Imp = Very important; Imp = Important; Not Imp = Not Important
The results in Table 4.9 above show that the majority of the teachers attached greatest
importance to Setswana for acquisition of knowledge at primary-school level. At
secondary-school level, Setswana plays an important role but not as much as at the
previous level (70% as opposed to 44%). The results suggest that using a language
that a learner already knows (such as Setswana) makes learning easier during the
preliminary years of education than when a foreign language (such as English) is used
(Bamgbose, 1991). Although not the subject of this study, this practice would,
however, discriminate against those learners whose HL is not Setswana as one year of
learning Setswana and at the same time having to acquire literacy through it, is
insufficient and less than the duration of BICS (Cummins, 1979). The results also
indicate that Setswana competence was considered to be unimportant at college and
university levels (53% and 66% respectively).
The results further suggest that the importance of Setswana progressively decreases as
one climbs the educational ladder. Therefore, Setswana is a HFFC language at primary
and secondary school levels, but a LFIC language at college and university levels.
147
The observation made about the role of Setswana at different levels is consistent with
what obtains at each level of education, particularly at secondary-school level.
Setswana continues to play a role in teaching and learning not only as a subject in the
curriculum but also as a LoLT. The former (teaching Setswana as a subject) is within
the education policy, but the latter (using Setswana to teach other subjects) is not
official policy. The use of Setswana to teach other school subjects results in CS in the
classroom, which the current study is investigating.
Table 4.10: The importance that teachers attach to Setswana in public life
Very Imp
1. At the shops
2. At church
3. Government offices
N
32
34
18
%
36
38
20
Imp
N
46
40
57
Not Imp
%
51
44
63
N
12
16
15
%
13
18
17
Total
N
90
90
90
%
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
4
4
4
The information in Table 4.10 above shows that the majority of the teachers attached
importance to competence in Setswana in their daily lives. The results suggest that
Setswana functions as a HFLF language in the three domains listed above.
4.8 PRESENTATION OF THE LEARNERS’ RESULTS
Having presented and described the demographic character of the teachers, their
language situation (including home language; fluency rate in the different languages;
and their views on the functional domains of English and Setswana), the data
pertaining to the learners are presented below in the same manner as the teachers’. As
in the case of the teachers, the learners’ responses are subjective in that they represent
their self-evaluation.
148
4.8.1 Demographic details about the learners
(a) School and gender
Table 4.11: Learner distribution by school and gender
School
1. School 1
2. School 2
3. School 3
4. School 4
Total
Male
N
263
253
286
206
1 008
%
42
46
48
42
45
Female
N
357
292
308
285
1 242
Total
%
58
54
52
58
55
N
620
545
594
491
2 250
%
93.6
95
96
96
95
M Frq
*N
42
29
26
20
117
Grand Total
N
662
100
574
100
620
100
511
100
2 367
100
Please note: * = learners who did not indicate gender.
The information in Table 4.11 indicates that a total of 2 367 learners participated in the
study; comprising 1 008 boys (45%); 1 242 (55%) girls; and 117 learners who did not
indicate their gender. The distribution of the learners by school is also shown in the
table above.
There were more girls (55%) in the study than boys (45%). A similar pattern of learner
distribution by gender was reflected in all four the schools. While the original
intention was not to use as large a sample as this one, the size was dictated by the
nature of the study. The study investigated the role of CS in the classroom as it
occurred in different subjects. Because of the number of subjects involved, and that the
selection had to take into account the ability of the learners, as well as the decision to
focus on both Forms 4 and 5 classes, the result was inevitably a very large sample.
The advantage of the large sample is that it allows for comparison between variables so
as to determine their effect on the main question of the study. Because English
Language, Setswana, and Biology are compulsory subjects for all the learners, these
subjects have high enrolment figures. However, the optional subjects have smaller
numbers of learners. These are 220 learners for History; 153 learners for English
Literature; and 128 learners for Home Economics. These figures are included in the
total of 2 367 as indicated in the table.
149
(b) Form (Grade)
Table 4.12: Form (Grade)
Form
1. Form 4
2. Form 5
Total
N
1 174
1 091
2 265
%
52
48
100
Please note: Missing frequency: 102
Table 4.12 above shows that there were more learners in F 4 (52%) than they were in F
5 (48%). This was a trend in all four the schools. One of the explanations given by the
schools was that more female learners dropped out of school largely due to teenage
pregnancy, which negatively affected learner enrolment at Form 5 level.
4.8.2 Learners’ language profile
(a) Home Language
Table 4.13: Learners’ Home Language (HL)
Home Language
1. Setswana
2. Ikalanga
3. English
4. Setswana and Ikalanga
5. Setswana and English
6. Setswana, Ikalanga and English
7. Ikalanga and English
8. Other languages (local and non-local)
Total
N
847
1 037
16
87
38
33
2
192
2 246
%
37.71
46.17
0.71
3.87
1.69
1.47
0.09
8.39
100
Please note: Missing frequency: 121
The results in Table 4.13 above show that Ikalanga and Setswana were home
languages for the majority of the learners at 46% and 38% respectively; excluding the
8% who indicated Setswana or Ikalanga to be additional home languages. This is
significant to the study that focuses on CS in the classroom between English as LoLT,
and Setswana as the only local language taught in schools, as well as the main
language involved in CS, yet the majority of the learners speak Ikalanga as a home
language. The results also indicate that the proportion of the learners whose HL is
Ikalanga is more than double the proportion of the teachers whose HL was also
Ikalanga (18%). English, although a very important language in this study as the
150
LoLT, is a home language for fewer than 1% of the learners (16 learners). Among the
learners who had more than one home language, Setswana and Ikalanga was the most
common combination indicated by nearly 4% (87 learners) out of a total of 211
learners who were bilingual at home. Other languages treated individually were home
languages for very few learners. As was the case with the teachers’ HLs, the speakers
of these languages were combined and accounted for 4% of the total (94 learners). HL
was used as an independent variable to further determine its influence on the learners’
views about the dependent variables. However, only the results of Setswana and
Ikalanga were subjected to statistical tests. Other languages were excluded due to the
low numbers of their speakers.
The results in Tables 4.14 below are subjective as they are based on the learners’ selfrating on their proficiency in the four domains of language competence, namely
speaking, reading, writing, and understanding.
Table 4.14: Learners’ subjective proficiency rating in English and Setswana
Domains of
language
competence
1. Speaking
2. Reading
3. Writing
4.
Understanding
Lang
Fluent
Moderately
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
N
742
1670
1606
1673
1464
1743
818
%
35.27
75.63
73.23
75.36
66.58
78.34
37.22
N
1351
528
584
535
734
466
1163
%
64.21
23.91
26.63
24.10
33.38
20.94
52.91
Sets.
1521
67.90
599
26.74
*Not that well
/ Not at all
N
%
11
0.52
10
0.45
3
0.14
12
0.54
1
0.05
16
0.72
*214
*09.74
3
0.14
*119
* 5.31
1
0.04
Total
N
2104
2208
2193
2220
2199
2225
2198
%
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
263
159
174
147
168
142
169
2240
100
127
* Understanding only
The results in Table 4.14 above show that the majority of the learners considered
themselves to be more proficient in Setswana than in English. While there was no
significant difference in self-rating of their reading and writing competence in the two
languages, their self-rating in speaking and understanding was significant. For
instance, almost 76% of the learners believed they spoke Setswana fluently but 64%
thought that they were moderately fluent in spoken English. While almost 68% of the
151
learners believed they understood Setswana fluently, almost 53% thought that they
moderately understood English. The results suggest that for the majority of the
learners, before they enter the school system, Setswana is acquired before English is,
either as a HL or as a second language. English is acquired mainly after learners have
entered the school system.
Therefore, revisiting the two concepts of BICS and CALP (Cummins, 1979) already
discussed, the results suggest that BICS in Setswana was acquired before BICS in
English. However, at the level of CALP, it appears that there is no significant
difference with respect to language-competency skills acquired in a formal learning
environment, such as writing and reading. Of particular interest is the learners’ selfrating in understanding Setswana. The proportion of learners who considered
themselves to understand Setswana fluently was not as high as for the other languagecompetence skills. This is rather strange as usually one can understand a language
before one can speak it and, for the majority of the learners, understanding Setswana is
acquired primarily before they enter formal schooling. It can be deduced that these
learners refer to formal Setswana taught in the classroom that may comprise some
aspects of language such as proverbs and idiomatic expressions. The way English as a
subject is taught to enable learners to function in it may also have implications for CS
in the classroom. The results suggest that because the majority of the learners are of
the view that they do not speak and understand English as well as they do Setswana,
they are likely to CS in class to participate in the lesson and their teachers are also
likely to CS in class to facilitate the understanding of the lessons.
The quantitative results in the next two chapters and the qualitative results in Chapter
Seven will confirm or refute this assumption.
152
Graph 4.3: Learners’ proficiency rate in English and Setswana
Please note: u/stand = understand
4.8.3 Learners’ language use
In this section, the views of the learners on the functional domains of language use are
presented.
Table 4.15: Learners’ self-reports on preferred language for use by social domain
Lang
1. Sets.
2. Eng.
3. Other
(MT)
4. Sets. &
Eng.
5. Sets. &
Other
6. Eng &
Other
7. Sets.,
Eng. &
other
Total
M Frq
Family
N
%
1225
55
56
3
644
29
Friends
N
%
1203
54
459
21
127
6
C/mates
N
%
1290
58
485
22
31
1
S/mates
N
%
1441
66
349
16
37
2
Teachers
N
%
269
12
1546
69
2
0.09
Strangers
N
%
1132
55
590
29
151
8
155
7
331
15
355
16
313
14
400
18
169
8
82
4
35
2
14
0.63
22
1
1
0.04
8
0.39
19
0.86
6
0.27
1
0.05
1
0.05
0
0
2
0.10
37
2
47
2
34
2
33
1.5
8
0.36
16
0.77
2218
149
100
2208
159
100
2210
157
100
2196
171
100
2226
141
100
2068
299
Please note: C/mates = Classmates; S/mates = Schoolmates
153
100
The results in Table 4.15 above show that Setswana is the main language of social
communication with different categories of people inside and outside the school,
except when speaking to teachers. English is the most preferred language when
communicating with teachers. This is expected given that, in the classroom, English is
the LoLT used to explain, describe, define, ask and answer questions, and to
summarise the main points of a lesson. It is also used, to a lesser extent, within other
social domains but hardly used at family level. At family level, speakers would
normally use their MT. Dual use of languages such as Setswana and MT, or English
and MT, or Setswana, English and MT was rare in all categories of people.
The results suggest that the use of English is confined to the classroom during teaching
and learning. Outside the school, learners prefer to use their home language (beside
Setswana). MT is hardly used in the classroom. The results also suggest that the
speakers of other languages also use Setswana as HL as indicated by 55% who said
they use it within the family, as opposed to 38% who indicated it to be their HL. The
use of more than one language, although limited, signals that a few learners are
bilingual or even multilingual at home.
Table 4.16: Learners’ perceptions about the value of English and Setswana
Very Imp
1. To develop
self-confidence
and abilities
2. To be respected
at home
3. To be respected
by friends
4. To be respected
in the
community
5. To follow radio
programmes
6. To follow TV
programmes
7. To get a job in
Botswana
Imp
Not Imp
Total
Lang.
Eng.
Sets.
N
1709
1026
%
76
46
N
467
866
%
21
39
N
60
330
%
3
15
N
2236
2222
%
100
100
M
Frq
N
31
145
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
406
673
438
364
710
779
19
31
20
17
32
35
934
824
1119
1047
910
927
43
37
52
48
42
42
838
707
611
785
575
508
38
32
28
36
26
23
2178
2204
2168
2196
2195
2214
100
100
100
100
100
100
189
163
199
171
172
153
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
1628
1149
1662
956
1962
966
73
52
75
43
88
43
523
884
489
955
262
932
24
40
22
43
12
42
69
190
54
304
13
326
3
9
3
14
0.58
15
2220
2223
2205
2215
2237
2224
100
100
100
100
100
100
147
144
162
152
130
143
154
The results in Table 4.16 above show that the majority of the learners valued
competence in both English and Setswana. However, they attached more importance
to English than to Setswana in the three domains of psychology (self-confidence and
abilities) -- (97% vs. 85%); entertainment and information (radio -- 73% vs. 52%; and
television -- 75% vs. 43%), and in the HFFC such as employment prospects (88% vs.
43%). The results suggest that English is undoubtedly a fully-fledged HFFC language.
Setswana is also a HFFC language but it is considered a semi-HFFC language in some
respects. This observation is significant and will have an effect on how learners
perceived the role of both languages in education when the researcher reports on the
research questions in Chapter Eight.
The results also indicate that the majority of the learners rated competence in English
and Setswana as important at a social level (to be respected by family, friends, and the
community). However, at friendship level, competence in English was valued more
than competence in Setswana as 52% of learners preferred English when compared to
37% who preferred Setswana. This suggests that English is regarded as a prestigious
language to speak. At family level, the difference was insignificant, even though
slightly more learners preferred speaking Setswana instead of English (48% vs. 43%).
This suggests that within the family, one’s MT is more important than English. The
status of Setswana as a national language also has an effect on the use of Setswana at
family level. At community level, the same proportion of learners (42%) equally
valued competence in both languages. This signifies the role both languages play at
this level. As previously explained, both languages are used by Government to inform
communities about government plans and projects. The results suggest that at family
and friendship levels, both languages are LFIC languages, but at community level, both
are LFFC languages. Further, how they are perceived in each domain has implications
on how they are used in the education system, which may have implications for CS in
the classroom.
155
Table 4.17: Importance learners attach to Setswana in education and public life
V Imp
1. At primary school
2. At secondary
school
3. *At college
4. At university
5. At Govt. offices
6. At shops
Imp
Not Imp
Total
N
1401
954
%
63
43
N
659
1109
%
30
50
N
153
149
%
7
7
N
2216
2212
%
100
100
M
Frq
N
151
155
919
872
962
410
42
40
44
19
777
582
787
1009
35
26
36
46
514
752
460
787
23
34
21
36
2210
2206
2209
2206
100
100
100
100
157
161
158
161
Please note: Govt = Government
*College is a tertiary-education institution offering certificates and diplomas but not at the
level of a university.
The results in Table 4.17 above show that, although the majority of the learners
attached importance to competence in Setswana at all levels of education, they attached
more importance to it at primary-and secondary-school levels than at college and
university levels (93% vs. 77%, 66%); with the most importance attached to Setswana
at primary-school level than at secondary-school level. This suggests that learners’
lack of proficiency in English influenced their opinion. As with the teachers, the
learners viewed the role of Setswana as decreasing as they go up the educational
ladder. The results on the learners’ views about the use of Setswana at secondaryschool level may have an effect on the use of CS at this level of education.
Because English already plays an important role at all levels of education, the learners
were not asked about their views on it. However, their views on English usage in the
classroom are specifically presented in Chapter Eight, as these views form part of the
responses to the research questions.
The results also show that, although the majority of the learners attached importance to
competence in Setswana for visiting both government offices and the shops (80%,
65%), Setswana was considered more important for visiting government offices than
for visiting the shops (44% vs.19%). The results suggest that in government offices,
Setswana can either be a HFIC context when workers interact with one another, or a
LFFC language when a member of the public visits to seek assistance. This is partly
156
due to its status as the national language. Similarly, at the shops, it is a LFFC language
when a customer interacts with sales assistants, but a LFIC language when workers
interact with one another. It is assumed that the research location was a contributory
factor to these views because the local language (Ikalanga) is used more than Setswana
as implied by the results that more learners (36%) considered knowledge of Setswana
as more unimportant at the shops than at government offices (21%).
Having described both the teachers’ and the learners’ views according to their
demographic details, their home languages, fluency in English and Setswana, and the
domains in which they use these two languages, a comparison between the two groups
of participants based on the above is presented in the following section. This is meant
to highlight their perceptions about the two languages, and also has an effect on how
they responded to the research questions as reported in the subsequent chapters. Their
responses ultimately were used to address the central question of the study, namely CS
in teaching and learning.
4.9 A COMPARISON OF TEACHERS’ AND LEARNERS’ DATA ON
DEMOGRAPHIC DETAILS, LANGUAGE PROFILE AND THEIR VIEWS ON
THE FUNCTIONAL DOMAINS OF ENGLISH AND SETSWANA
4.9.1 Home language
There were more teachers than learners who spoke Setswana as a home language
(56%) vs. (38%). Conversely, there were more learners (46%) than the teachers (18%)
who spoke Ikalanga as a home language. These results are consistent with the
explanations given earlier in this chapter (cf. 4.4.4 e) viz. that the teachers may be from
different linguistic communities. Despite the large number of Ikalanga speakers
among learners, language interaction between the teachers and the learners is not
problematic as Setswana is widely spoken owing to its status as a national language;
and also as it is taught at school as a subject. In addition, very few teachers (3%) and
learners (0.71%) spoke English as a home language. Therefore, English is hardly
spoken in the majority of the homes of both the teachers and learners. In addition,
23% of the teachers spoke other local languages or had more than one HL; 15.29% of
the learners also spoke other languages (local and non-local), including those who had
157
more than one HL. The graph below illustrates the language landscape of the
participants in the study.
Graph 4.4: Teachers’ and learners’ home language
4.9.2 Proficiency in Setswana and English
According to self-evaluation responses by both the teachers and learners, as expected,
more teachers than the learners were proficient in both Setswana and English with
respect to the four domains of language competence as languages that are used in
schools. Over and above, Setswana is a HL for the majority of the teachers (56% as
opposed to 38% for the learners). This is significant in that, should the learners lack
competence in the two languages, CS is likely to occur during lessons.
Furthermore, both the teachers and learners learnt Setswana at home, and English at
school. However, for the majority of the learners, Setswana was learnt as a second
home language as 46% of them spoke Ikalanga as a home language.
4.9.3 The importance and functional uses of Setswana and English
(i) Social domain: The majority of both the teachers and learners used Setswana
socially to speak to family members, friends and peers outside the classroom, but used
158
English in the classroom. The latter is expected, given that English is the LoLT. Here
Setswana functions in a LFIC as well as a HFIC context and; English is a HFFC
language. When speaking to strangers, teachers used English, whilst learners used
Setswana. Both languages are used as LFFC languages. Therefore, in social domains,
learners use Setswana much more than English but teachers use both, depending on to
whom they are talking.
Furthermore, while learners viewed competence in both English and Setswana as
important to be respected by family members, friends and the community, in the
teachers’ views, both English and Setswana were unimportant at family level;
Setswana was unimportant for respect by friends; but English was important. However,
at community level, competence in both English and Setswana was important.
Therefore, the results suggest that the respondents’ proficiency in the two languages
determined the importance that they attached to them. To the learners, competence in
Setswana was important as the language in which they were more proficient, but for
the teachers, English competence was more important than competence in Setswana
because of its status as the official language; a marker of social prestige; and the
language of career and employment opportunities.
(ii) Psychological function (confidence-building and abilities)
The majority of the teachers and learners considered English competence as very
important for the development of self-confidence and abilities. Setswana was also
very important for learners but it was only important for teachers. The results are
significant in that both the teachers and learners regard English highly because of its
status as a language of educational and professional opportunities. However, learners
also highly value Setswana because they are more fluent in it than in English.
(iii) Entertainment and information acquisition
Both the teachers and learners attached great importance to competence in English to
follow radio and television programmes, but teachers did not attach as much
importance to Setswana in this regard as learners did.
159
(iv) Economic value and public address
The majority of both the teachers and learners regarded English competence as very
important for employment opportunities. However, the majority of the teachers
viewed Setswana only as important, but the learners’ views were divided about
competence in Setswana as half of them indicated that it was very important, and the
other half said it was important. In addition, the majority of the teachers viewed both
English and Setswana as very important for public discussions. The learners’ views
on the importance of the two languages in public discussions were not solicited due to
their limited opportunities to partake in public discussions. The results suggest that to
the teachers, English had a higher economic value than Setswana did, but for the
learners, their lack of experience in working life jeopardized their judgement on the
roles of the two languages at HFFC level.
4.9.4 English knowledge for prestige
The majority of the teachers did not attach much importance to English competence at
personal levels (family and friends), but attached more importance to it at professional
and public levels when dealing with colleagues and the community. To the contrary,
learners attached more importance to English competence at all levels -- personal,
friendship and public. The results suggest that the status of English as the official
language for education, job opportunities and business was an influential factor on the
respondents ‘views and was regarded as a marker of social status.
160
Graph 4.5: The importance that teachers and learners attach to English for prestige
Please note: V = Very
4.9.5 Setswana in education
The majority of both the teachers and learners stated that Setswana has a very
important educational role at primary- and secondary-school levels; hence competence
in it was crucial, especially at the first level during the formative years of education as
discussed earlier in this chapter. Their views about the role of these two languages
have implication on this study as it investigates CS in education at the level of
secondary schools.
However, at college and university levels, the majority of the teachers indicated that
Setswana was unimportant, but the learners considered it to be very important. The
lack of life experience at university among the learners contributed to their view as
they may not be aware of what the practice is at tertiary level with respect to the use of
Setswana in education.
161
4.9.6 Setswana in public life
The majority of both the teachers and learners attached importance to competence in
Setswana for visits to the shops and to government offices. However, learners attached
more importance to Setswana when dealing with government officials than the teachers
did. In addition, teachers said Setswana was important for their spiritual and religious
purposes (worship).
From the above, it is clear that both the teachers and learners recognized the
importance of competence in both English and Setswana in various spheres of their
lives, except in a very few instances. Teachers attached more importance to English
than to Setswana; while English was unimportant only at family level, Setswana was
unimportant at family and friendship levels, as well as in education at college and
university levels.
On the contrary, learners did not consider any of the two languages as unimportant.
Like the teachers, they considered English to be more important than Setswana, but
they also attached more value to Setswana than the teachers did because, as a national
language, they were more fluent in it than in English. Therefore, the respondents’ level
of fluency in a language influenced their attitudes towards it. The teachers, who were
more educated, preferred English to Setswana.
The views above reflect the status that English in Botswana enjoys as the official
language used virtually in all spheres of life such as in education, the judiciary, the
media, and in the vocational environment. English is mainly a HFFC language.
However, Setswana is largely regarded as a LFIC or LFFC language or HFLFC
language. In education, Setswana is a HFFC language at primary- and secondaryschool levels.
4.10 CONCLUSION
This chapter has given an overview of the statistical package used in the analysis of the
data pertaining to the teachers’ and learners’ responses to the research questions. The
data subjected to statistical tests are presented in the next two chapters. The chapter
162
also presented an analysis of the data that will provide background to the study to
better comprehend the views of the respondents. The data include the teachers’ and
learners’ demographic details that include their personal and professional / academic
details. The respondents’ language profile that includes home language as well as their
proficiency in English and Setswana has also been described. Their views on the
functions of these two languages in different domains have also been presented. These
revealed the importance that respondents attached to English and Setswana. The data
derived from the analysis made are important as they shed light on the occurrence of
CS in the classroom, which is central to the present study.
It is significant from the respondents’ views that both the teachers and learners
attached a high value to English, yet CS occurred in the classrooms in Botswana. This
suggests that there is an underlying problem in communicating in English. The
question therefore is: does CS facilitate English proficiency among learners and assist
them to learn in English, or does it impede the acquisition of English and consequently
stifle learning?
The thrust of this study therefore is in two-fold. First, the study is focused on the
effect of CS on the acquisition of proficiency in English; hence answering the
following questions is important: Does CS contribute to better understanding of the
lesson content and promote knowledge acquisition? Does CS decrease when CALP is
fully acquired or does CS affect negatively future academic development due to lower
level of CALP? Second, the study is also focused on the effect of CS on the social and
academic development of Setswana. Consequently, the impact of the aforementioned
on teaching and learning is addressed.
In the next two chapters, an analysis of the teachers’ and learners’ responses to the
research questions that address the study problem is presented. These deal with the
roles of English and Setswana, including CS between them in teaching and learning. In
addition, although not central to this study, their views on the role of the local
language, Ikalanga, and / or CS to it in teaching and learning, are presented.
163
CHAPTER FIVE
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE QUANTITATIVE
DATA: TEACHERS’ RESPONSES
5.1 INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter dealt with the presentation of the teachers’ and learners’
demographic details, language profiles, and language use, as well as their perceptions
about the functional domains of English and Setswana. The present chapter deals with
the views of the teachers in response to the questions that were asked to obtain
information so that the main research questions can be answered.
The views of the teachers are grouped into three sections according to the sub-themes
of the study: The first section presents the teachers’ subjective evaluation of the
learners’ competence in English and Setswana, and how they use the two languages in
class. The teachers’ views on the learners’ proficiency in both languages are
important because they impact on their views on the learners’ CS in the classroom.
The second section deals with the educational role of English and Setswana in the
schools in Botswana, including CS during a lesson. The third and final section deals
with the role of other local languages in education, and / or CS during a lesson to those
languages.
5.2 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER
As previously explained in Chapter Three, section 3.7, the data relate mainly to
independent and dependent variables. Independent variables are those variables that
the researcher studies as a possible cause of something (Leedy and Ormrod, 2005) or
those key factors that may influence how the respondents perceive a particular issue;
while the dependent variables are those that depend on the independent variables for
their interpretation in relation to the question at hand. The independent variables (used
to obtain data about the teachers and to further analyze their responses under the
dependent variables) were (with their explanations placed in parenthesis):
164
ƒ
school location (urban or peri-urban);
ƒ
gender (Male or Female) ;
ƒ
age (Under 31 years: younger, 31 to 40 years: middle-age, and over 40 years:
mature age);
ƒ
home language: (Setswana, Ikalanga, English, Others);
ƒ
teaching experience: (0-5 years: inexperienced, 6-10 years: moderatelyexperienced, 11-15 years: well experienced and 16 years and above: most
experienced);
ƒ
subjects taught: (language subjects -- English (L and L), and Setswana vs.
content subjects -- Biology, History and Home Economics; in some cases,
ƒ
language subject (English -- L and L) vs. language subject (Setswana); and
ƒ
fluency in speaking English: (fluent or moderately fluent).
The data on the dependent variables fall into three broad categories: Teachers’ views
on the role of English and Setswana as LoLT; their views and attitudes towards CS and
its role in teaching and learning; and the role of other local languages, and / or CS to
them in teaching and learning. The data are highly subjective as they were provided by
the teachers. Thereafter, the dependent variables were further analyzed with respect to
the independent variables. The results from the analyzed data were then interpreted to
determine if there was any relationship of influence between the dependent and the
independent variables regarding the phenomenon under consideration, namely, the role
of CS in the classroom and its effects on teaching and learning. The results showed
that some of the independent variables influenced the teachers’ responses with respect
to some of the dependent variables, while others did not. However, for reasons of
space, only the teachers’ responses to the dependent variables are presented in tabular
form in this chapter; the researcher only reports on the results of the influence of the
independent variables on the dependent variables without using the tabular
presentation of the data.
Multi-variance analysis was not done on any of the dependent variables. This was
found unnecessary at this stage as the objective of the study was mainly to establish the
effect of CS on teaching and learning. Such analysis will be done in the next phase of
the study.
165
Descriptive statistics in the form of percentages were used as a basis for the
interpretation of the data in respect of the teachers’ and the learners’ responses. The
interpretations were used to formulate a number of hypotheses in respect of the
educational effects of CS in the classroom. These hypotheses were focused on the
extent of CS in the classroom; who code-switches; when and why they do so. After the
data analysis and interpretation, the hypotheses (based on the results of the influence of
independent variables on the dependent variables) were then subjected to statistical
tests to establish their validity. Only questions that were directly related to the
objectives of the study were subjected to statistical tests. These were mainly questions
on CS (mainly between English and Setswana, and to some extent to a local language);
attitudes towards it; and its role in teaching and learning.
Robinson (1996: 66, in Strydom, 2002: 103) states the following regarding statistics:
“ … provide one more way of understanding a sociolinguistic situation and may not be
regarded … as the pillars of irrefutable proof on which the argument stands”.
In this respect, the results from the statistical tests are used to corroborate or refute the
results obtained through the questionnaires, as well as by observing the lessons in the
classrooms.
Some of the results were statistically significant whilst others were not. Where
statistical tests were done, the results were reported as either statistically significant or
not statistically significant. Only the details of the statistically significant results will
be reported, while the results of the data that are not statistically significant or only
have a significant tendency for a relationship will be very briefly reported. A list of the
data not statistically significant is available but for reasons of space, has not been
included in this study. If necessary, an interested reader could request that it be made
available.
As previously reported in Chapter Three (cf. section 3.6.2 paragraph 1), the
questionnaires largely contained close-ended questions and a few open-ended
questions, namely 6% or 13 questions in the teachers’ questionnaire; and 5% or 11
questions in the learners’ questionnaire. Unfortunately, the open-ended questions were
largely ignored by the respondents. As a result, these questions were excluded from
166
the analysis of the data. This setback will, however, not affect the results of the study
owing to the smaller number of the questions involved (cf. Addenda D and E). The
discussion and interpretation of both the quantitative (Chapters Four to Six) and the
qualitative data (Chapter Seven) will be done in Chapter Eight below each research
question.
While the chronological order of the data presentation largely follows the order in
which the data appeared in the questionnaires, in some cases, it was necessary to shift
some items to the other sections that contained items addressing the same sub-theme,
and with relevance to a particular research question. While this style of presentation,
to some extent, affects the chronological presentation of the tables of results, it
nonetheless allows for grouping the data into sub-headings and for better
comprehension of the results. In addition, the analysis of the results was done within
and between the tables; and cross-referencing between the tables was made where
more than one table addressed the same sub-theme. The data in this chapter will be
used in Chapter Eight to respond to the research questions.
5.3 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE LEARNERS’ PROFICIENCY IN ENGLISH
AND SETSWANA
The teachers’ views essentially fall into three categories: the views of Setswana
teachers (25 in total); the views of the teachers of subjects that are taught in ‘English’ - hereafter referred to as content-subject teachers -- (69 in total); and the views of all
the teachers, irrespective of the subjects they teach (94 in total). In this study, the
following legends for interpretation will be used:
Very well = Good to excellent
Well = fair or Average
Not that well = Poor / unsatisfactory
167
Table 5.1: Teachers’ evaluation of learners’ proficiency in English and Setswana
(RQ 5 ii)
Domains of language
competency
1. Read texts
2. Write texts
3. Speak during class
discussions
4. Understand when
interpreting a test / exam
VW
Lang
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
Eng.
Sets.
N
5
1
1
1
2
3
3
0
W
%
7
4
2
4
4
12
4
0
N
38
13
23
11
34
15
26
15
NW
%
57
52
35
44
50
60
39
60
N
24
11
42
13
32
7
38
10
%
36
44
64
52
47
28
57
40
Total
N
67
25
66
25
68
25
67
25
%
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
100
Legends: VW = Very Well; W = Well; NW = Not Well
The teachers evaluated the learners’ proficiency in English and Setswana as they used
them in the classroom and the results, presented in Table 5.1 above, indicate that
learners were more proficient in Setswana than in English. They speak, understand
and interpret test or examination questions better in Setswana than in English.
However, learners read better in English than in Setswana. The results are not
unexpected, given that English is usually spoken in the classroom only, but Setswana
is spoken inside and outside the classroom and even outside the school environment.
Therefore, learners are more exposed to Setswana than to English.
Concerning English, more teachers were concerned more about the learners’ writing
skills and interpretation of questions (understanding) in English than about their oral
domains of competence (reading and speaking) as indicated by 64% and 57% as
opposed to 36% and 47% respectively. The results suggest that learners experienced
the most problems in self-expression through writing and interpretation of written
information, be it a test or an examination, as well as speaking. Reading was the least
problematic in the four domains of language competence. The results therefore
indicate that skills pertaining to speaking and interpretation (understanding) may have
an effect on CS use in the classroom.
Regarding learners’ competence in Setswana, Setswana teachers were satisfied with
the learners’ speaking and interpretation skills as indicated by 72% and 60%
168
M
Frq
N
2
0
3
0
1
0
2
0
respectively. Reading was also not problematic as 64% of the teachers were satisfied
with the learners’ reading ability; the majority of them (52%) saying that learners read
well. Writing in Setswana was considered the most problematic as 52% of the teachers
were dissatisfied with the learners’ writing ability. The results of the analysis suggest
that the skills acquired at school (reading and writing) were considered more difficult
than those acquired before entering school (speaking and interpretation, as the latter is
closely associated to understanding). This could be due to the fact that Setswana is not
a HL for a significant proportion of the learners (at least 46%). The results suggest that
BICS had been acquired in Setswana; hence learners were considered able to express
themselves in Setswana, but it may have been CALP in Setswana that could have been
more problematic since in learning, it is acquisition of CALP in a LoLT that is
required. The results suggest that learners perform better in the domains of speaking
and interpretation in Setswana than in English, hence they used CS (the subject of this
study) in the classroom.
Table 5.2: Teachers’ observations on learners’ language use in class (RQ 5 ii)
Always
Language use
1. *Standard Setswana
2. *Vernacular Setswana
3. Code-switch between
English and Setswana
N
6
5
31
%
27
22
37
Sometime
N
14
16
47
%
64
70
57
Never
N
2
2
5
%
9
9
6
Total
N
22
23
83
%
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
3
2
11
*Teachers in Setswana only; Item 3: All teachers
The results in Table 5.2 above show that CS takes place, irrespective of the subject
taught, as indicated by 94% of the teachers. The results also show that both Standard
and Vernacular Setswana are used in the classroom as confirmed by 91% and 92% of
the Setswana teachers respectively. Although the central focus of this study is not on
Setswana as a subject per se, it nonetheless has an effect on CS as the results show that
CS in the classroom mainly involves English and Setswana (as languages). The results
hence indicate that there is prevalent use of CS in the classroom.
169
The influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The effect of various independent variables on the teachers’ views on the dependent
variables contained in Table 5.2 above was investigated, but not found to be
determinant of CS. These are:
ƒ
teaching experience;
ƒ
age;
ƒ
HL;
ƒ
subject taught;
ƒ
fluency in speaking English;
ƒ
gender; and
ƒ
school location.
The results suggest that CS occurred in the classroom irrespective of the factors listed
above. Similarly, during Setswana lessons, teachers of Setswana used both Standard
and Vernacular Setswana.
The researcher tested the data on CS for statistical significance. Only the teachers’ age
had an influence on their views about the learners’ CS in class. The statistical test
result (p = 0.008) shows that the relationship between the teachers’ age and their views
on the learners’ CS in class is highly significant. The nature of the relationship is such
that more of the younger teachers (70%) than the middle-aged (31%) and the mature
teachers (11%) stated that their learners always CS between English and Setswana in
class. Conversely, more middle-aged teachers (62%) and mature teachers (78%) said
their learners sometimes CS between English and Setswana in class. The results
suggest that learners were more likely to CS during lessons of younger teachers than
during lessons of the middle-aged and the more mature teachers. The reason could be
that perhaps the younger teachers were more tolerant of CS than the other teachers.
Other relationships between the teachers’ views on the dependent variables and the
other independent variables had no statistical significance. For instance, the statistical
test result (p = 0.08) indicates that the relationship between school location and the
teachers’ responses on the learners’ CS in class has a tendency for statistical
significance. The results show that the majority of the teachers at both urban and peri
170
urban schools said their learners sometimes CS to Setswana in class: S 1: 65%, and S
2: 50%; S 3: 61%, and S 4: 52%. The results show that there are no significant
differences in the teachers’ responses by school location.
Subsequent results, both significant and insignificant, should be interpreted in the same
way. The results on the use of Standard and Vernacular Setswana during Setswana
lessons were not tested for statistical significance as they had no direct relevance to
CS.
Table 5.3: Reasons why teachers always use English in class (RQ 5 i)
Reasons
1. It is school policy.
2. There are non-Setswana speakers in my class.
3. It is easier to explain and to understand concepts in English.
4. It is an international language for education and work.
5. It is a neutral language.
N
24
6
23
47
16
%
35
9
33
67
22
Please note: Only views of non-Setswana teachers are given
Total and percentage cannot be given as respondents could
choose more than one item.
The results in Table 5.3 above show that the main reason for always using English in
class is a result of its status as an international language for education and work, as
indicated by 67% of the teachers. Other reasons were not as important as the
aforementioned reason. The results suggest that teachers were aware of the benefits of
teaching in English in addition to adhering to the LiEP of Botswana that teaching
(except Setswana) should be done in English. The results are interesting in that,
notwithstanding the indicators above, CS still occurred in the classroom. The issue
will be discussed further in Chapter Eight when the research questions are answered.
The influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that there was no significant difference in the teachers’ views in
respect of home language, teaching experience, gender, school location, subject taught
and fluency in speaking English, as the majority of the teachers always used English in
class because of its status in education and in the world of work. However, age had a
significant influence on the teachers’ views in respect of using English in class. The
171
younger (63%) and the middle-aged (75%) teachers always used English in class
because of its educational and professional status internationally but all mature
teachers (100%) were guided more by pedagogical benefits (that is to say, was it easier
for the learners to understand explanation of concepts made in English) than by the
educational status of English.
Table 5.4: Teachers’ views on the appropriateness of the LiEP
(RQ 5 iii)
Agree
LoLT
1. Cease using Eng. as LoLT and
study only as second / foreign
lang.
2. Use Setswana as LoLT in
primary school.
3. Use other local languages for T
and L.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
12
%
15
N
62
%
78
N
6
%
8
N
80
%
100
M
Frq
N
14
42
53
32
40
6
8
80
100
14
39
51
25
32
13
17
77
100
17
Please note: T and L = Teaching and Learning
The results in Table 5.4 above show that the majority of the teachers supported the
continued use of English as a LoLT (78%) and being learnt as a subject. However,
concerning Setswana and other local languages, they called for the revision of the
LiEP: that Setswana be the LoLT in primary schools only (53%); and that other local
languages be introduction in the school system (51%).
The results suggest that the majority of the teachers recognized the educational value
of using Setswana and other local languages during the formative years of a child’s
education as espoused by Bamgbose (1991: 66). However, some teachers, although in
the minority, held a contrary view: Forty percent and nearly one-third (32%) objected
to the use of Setswana and other local languages in education respectively. Some
teachers (33%) did not express their views on the three issues stated above. The
reasons for their lack of a definite opinion are not clear, but the researcher can only
surmise that these may be teachers who do not speak the local language or, even if they
do, they do not use it as it was not provided for in the LiEP of the country.
172
The influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results show that gender, the nature of the subject taught, home language, age,
school location, teaching experience, and fluency in speaking English had no effect on
the teachers’ responses to the learning of English as a second / foreign language only.
The majority of the teachers, irrespective of the above, supported the status quo,
namely that English should continue to be used as the LoLT. The results confirm the
status that English enjoys in the education system in Botswana.
The results also showed that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of age, school
location, teaching experience, and fluency in speaking English supported the use of
Setswana as the LoLT or MoI at primary school. Therefore, none of these independent
variables had an effect on the teachers’ views as the differences in their opinions were
not significant except for fluency in English.
The results regarding the relationship between fluency in speaking English (that is, the
difference in views between the teachers fluent and the moderately fluent in English)
and the teachers’ opinion on the view that Setswana should be used as a LoLT in
schools is statistically significant (p = 0.01). This suggests that both the fluent and the
moderately fluent teachers recognize the importance of using Setswana, the national
language, in education, especially at the formative stage in a child’s life. In addition,
gender, subject taught, and HL had an effect on the teachers’ views. The majority of
the female teachers (65%) were in support of its use but the male teachers (49%) were
not. The results are significant and suggest that female teachers were more likely to
use Setswana in their classes than the male teachers. The statistical test result (p =
0.02) shows that the relationship between the teachers’ views and gender pertaining to
the use of Setswana as the LoLT in primary schools is statistically significant.
The results also indicate that the majority of the teachers of language subjects (English
and Setswana) were in support of the use of Setswana as the LoLT in primary schools;
but the majority of the teachers of content subjects (Biology, History, and Home
Economics) were not. However, there was no significant difference between the
proportion of English teachers who supported the use of Setswana as the LoLT in
primary schools and those who were against it (42% vs. 38%), as well as between
173
Biology teachers who were opposed to this view and those who supported it (50% vs.
44%). The results show that there is a significant difference in the teachers’ views due
to the nature of the subject taught, as the views of the teachers of language subjects
were in contrast to those of the content subjects. The statistical test results show that
the interaction between the subject taught and the teachers’ views on the use of
Setswana as a LoLT is statistically highly significant (p = 0.002). The results suggest
that teachers of content subjects are more likely to use Setswana in their teaching than
those who teach English Language and Literature in English.
Home language had an effect on the teachers’ views on using Setswana as the LoLT.
The majority of the teachers whose HL is Ikalanga (60%) did not support the use of
Setswana as the LoLT in primary schools; but other teachers did (Setswana: 57%;
English: 100%; and others: 64%). The results are significant and show that the
teachers whose HL is Ikalanga did not want to promote the use of Setswana for
teaching and learning at the expense of their HL. The relationship between HL and the
teachers’ views on the use of Setswana as the LoLT in primary schools is statistically
significant (p = 0.04).
Furthermore, the majority of the teachers, irrespective of gender, subject taught, school
location, teaching experience, and fluency in speaking English supported the inclusion
of other local languages in education. This suggests that none of the independent
variables mentioned above had an influence on the teachers’ views. However, HL and
age did have an effect on their views. All the teachers whose HL is English (100%),
and 41% of the teachers whose HL is Setswana did not support the inclusion of other
local languages in education; but the majority of the teachers whose HL is either
Ikalanga (86%) or ‘others’ (65%) did support it. The differences in the teachers’ views
are significant and suggest that the teachers whose HL is either Setswana or English,
the languages taught in schools, are against the inclusion of other local languages in
education, but the teachers whose HLs are currently not taught in schools advocated
for their inclusion in the curriculum. The statistical test result (p = 0.008) shows that
the relationship between HL and the teachers’ views on the use of other local
languages in education is statistically highly significant. This suggests that there is
reasonable association between the teachers’ views and home language.
174
There was also a difference in opinion between the younger teachers, the least
experienced on the one hand and the older and more experienced teachers on the other.
The former (38%) were opposed to the view that other local languages should also be
used for teaching and learning, but the latter (the middle-aged, 55%; and the mature,
75%) supported this view. However, the difference was not that significant as 29% of
the younger teachers did not offer their views at all. This suggests that either they did
not speak any of the local languages or they never used them because the system did
not officially cater for them in the LiEP. Hence the results were not statistically
significant.
5.4 TEACHERS’ ATTITUDE TOWARDS CS AND ITS ROLE IN THE
CLASSROOM
Table 5.5: Teachers’ attitude to learners’ CS use in the classroom
(RQ 2)
Always
Are you bothered by …
1. CS to Setswana in a
Non-Setswana class?
2. CS to English in a
Setswana class?
3. CS to other local
languages?
Sometime
Never
Total
N
37
%
54
N
29
%
43
N
2
%
3
N
68
%
100
M
Frq
N
1
16
64
9
36
0
0
25
100
0
60
69
24
28
3
3
87
100
7
Please note: Item 1: Non-Setswana teachers only = 69; Item 2: Setswana teachers only = 25;
Item 3: all teachers = 94.
The results in Table 5.5 above show that the majority of the teachers were always
bothered by the learners’ CS in class, irrespective of the subject that they taught and
the language to which CS was taking place. The results further reveal that the majority
of the teachers objected more to CS to a local language than to Setswana, or even from
Setswana to English. The data suggest that although CS occurs, not all teachers
(irrespective of the subject they teach) support its use by the learners. The results also
show that Setswana teachers felt more strongly about CS than the teachers of the other
subjects as none of them stated that CS during Setswana lessons did not bother them.
175
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of teaching experience,
school location, fluency in speaking English, age, HL and gender were bothered by CS
to Setswana. This indicates that the above-stated independent variables did not
significantly influence the teachers’ views (except subject taught). Hence their results
were also not statistically significant.
Subject taught had a significant influence on the teachers’ views about CS to Setswana.
The results are such that the language teachers (English L and L) were more bothered
by the learners’ CS to Setswana than teachers of content subjects (History, Home
Economics and Biology) (72% vs. 50%, 57, 67%) were. The statistical test result (p =
0.007) shows that the relationship between the nature of the subject taught and the
teachers’ views on the learners’ CS to Setswana in class is highly significant. The
results suggest that, as expected, CS was likely to occur more during the lessons of
content subjects than during the lessons of language subjects (English L and L), as
their focus was more on the learners’ understanding of the content than on
improvement of learners’ proficiency in English, which was the task of English (L and
L) teachers. The results on the effect of fluency in English were also significant in that
more teachers who were fluent in English than the teachers moderately fluent in
English were expected to be bothered by learners’ CS. So, the results are such that 55%
of the teachers fluent in English, and 58% of the teachers moderately fluent in English
were always bothered by learners’ CS. The results indicate that both the fluent and the
moderately fluent teachers were likely to CS and would then allow their learners to CS.
Therefore, the relationship between fluency in speaking English and the teachers’
views about the learners’ CS to Setswana in a class taught in ‘English’ was statistically
significant (p = 0.02).
The results also show that the majority of the teachers whose HL is either Ikalanga
(67%), or English (100%), or Others (60%) were always bothered by learners’ CS to
Setswana, but 50% of the teachers whose HL is Setswana were only sometimes
bothered. The results indicate that there is likely to be more CS to Setswana in the
classes of the teachers whose HL is Setswana than in the classes of the other teachers.
However, HL had no significant influence on the teachers’ views about the learners’
176
CS to Setswana because the differences were very small. Consequently, the results
were not statistically significant.
With respect to Setswana classes, the majority of the teachers of Setswana, irrespective
of teaching experience, HL, school location, subject taught, age, and fluency in
speaking English, objected to the learners’ CS. The results indicate that none of the
independent variables above had a significant influence on the teachers’ views.
Consequently, none of the results was statistically significant. However, gender had an
influence on the teachers’ views: all male teachers of Setswana (100%) were always
bothered by the learners’ CS to English; but among the female teachers, only 53%
were bothered. This is significant given that the proportion of male teachers who did
not support CS to English is almost double the proportion of the female teachers who
hold similar views.
The results suggest that the male teachers of Setswana are less tolerant of CS by the
learners than the female teachers. The statistical test result (p = 0.05) shows that the
relationship between gender and the teachers’ views on CS in a Setswana class is
statistically significant.
Furthermore, the majority of the teachers, irrespective of teaching experience, HL,
gender, subject taught, age, fluency in speaking English and school location, were
opposed to CS to a local language in class. There was no significant difference in the
teachers’ responses, hence the results were not statistically significant except for the
influence of school location on the teachers’ views: more teachers in peri-urban
schools (83%) than in urban schools (57%) were bothered by the learners’ use of other
local languages in class. The results suggest that there is likely to be more CS to other
local languages in class at the two peri-urban schools than at the two urban schools.
This is consistent with the population of the learners because Ikalanga is the HL for the
majority of the learners in the peri-urban schools (58% at S 3, and 74% at S 4); while
Setswana is the HL for the majority of the learners in the urban schools (53% at S 1,
and 49% at S 2). The statistical test result (p = 0.01) shows that the relationship
between the teachers’ views and school location on the learners’ CS to a local language
is significant.
177
The results show that generally, teachers were opposed to learners’ CS, be it to
Setswana, to English or to a local language. Notably, the results showed that teachers,
irrespective of teaching experience, strongly objected to CS to a local language. The
teachers whose HL is Setswana objected more to CS from English to a local language
than to Setswana. Male teachers of Setswana objected more to CS to English than the
female teachers did. Schools generally discouraged CS. There was more CS during
the lessons of content subjects than during the lessons of language subjects. Teachers
of all ages, the fluent and the moderately fluent, discouraged CS.
Table 5.6: Teachers’ views on learners’ language use in class (by gender) (RQ 5 ii)
Boys
Language use
1. CS to Setswana in a nonSetswana class?
2. Express themselves
well in spoken English?
3. Express themselves
well in written English
Girls
Both
Total
N
7
%
12
N
5
%
9
N
45
%
79
N
57
%
100
M
Frq
N
12
5
8
32
51
26
41
63
100
6
2
3
31
50
29
49
62
100
7
Please note: Only views of non-Setswana teachers.
The results in Table 5.6 above show that learners, irrespective of gender, CS to
Setswana in class, as indicated by 79% of the teachers; were not competent in either
spoken or written English. Nonetheless, girls better expressed themselves (in both
spoken and written English) than boys. It was, however, not easy for the researcher to
confirm these views as the lessons were largely teacher centred and, as such, the
recorded discourse was mainly that of the teachers. The learners were mainly passive
listeners and only took part occasionally when they were required to respond to a
question. If they responded, they either code-switched to Setswana, which would or
would not be allowed by the teacher, or they used English in the form of a one-word
answer or a short phrase or even a short sentence. This issue will be discussed in more
detail in Chapter Seven that covers the qualitative analysis of the data.
Again, as the study was limited to oral communication and the researcher did not have
access to the learners’ written work, it was not possible to confirm or refute the
teachers’ views regarding the learners’ self-expression in written English, though
178
desirable. The results are significant in that CS signals that the learners have a
problem with the language of instruction, namely, English.
The results suggest that the learners, irrespective of their gender, CS in class. While
CS by girls may not necessarily be due to a lack of proficiency in English, it is likely to
be the case with boys.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of gender, teaching
experience, home language, fluency in English, age, school location and the nature of
the subject taught, agreed that both boys and girls CS to Setswana in class. None of
the independent variables above were of significant influence to the teachers’
evaluation of the learners’ CS based on gender, except age. Consequently, the
statistical test results showed that the relationship between the aforementioned
independent variables and the teachers’ views is not statistically significant. However,
the relationship between age and the teachers’ views on the learners’ CS to Setswana
in class is statistically significant (p =0.02): more teachers of mature age (100%) and
teachers of middle age (86%) than the younger teachers (63%) stated that both girls
and boys CS in class. The results suggest that CS was more likely to occur in the
classes of the middle-aged and the mature teachers than in those of the younger
teachers.
The teachers’ views differed on the learners’ proficiency in spoken and written
English. Generally, girls were considered more proficient in both spoken and written
English than boys. However, the results on the influence of the independent variables
on the teachers’ views were not statistically significant, except for teaching experience.
The majority of the well-experienced (73%) and the most experienced teachers (100%)
stated that girls were more proficient in written English than boys, but 52% of the least
experienced and 57% of the moderately experienced teachers stated that both boys and
girls were proficient in written English. The relationship between the teachers’
responses on the learners’ self-expression in written English and teaching experience is
statistically significant (p = 0.04). The results suggest that boys were less proficient in
written English than girls were; and that the girls’ CS did not necessarily imply a lack
179
of proficiency in English, whilst boys’ CS may suggest a lack of proficiency in
English.
Table 5.7: Teachers’ views on their medium of lesson delivery (to show the extent of CS
in the classroom) (RQ 2)
Language
1. English all the time
2. English and Setswana
3. *Setswana most of the time
4. *Setswana only
5. English and other local language(s)
Total
N
35
32
10
13
1
91
%
39
35
11
14
1
100
Please note: M Frq: Three Setswana teachers; * Setswana teachers only
The results in Table 5.7 above show that although just more than half the teachers
(53%) do not CS, there is also evidence of CS in the classroom as 47% of the teachers
stated that they code-switch between English and Setswana, as well as between English
and other local language(s). However, the latter is almost non-existent as only one
teacher stated that he code-switched between English and a local language.
The results suggest the occurrence of CS mainly between English and Setswana
regardless of the subject taught. This is expected, given that apart from Setswana, no
other local language is used in schools officially.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that the nature of the subject taught and home language had an effect
on the teachers’ responses: the majority of the teachers of content subjects (Biology:
67%, Home Economics: 57%, and History: 62.5%) stated that they CS between
English and Setswana in class. However, 74% of the English (L and L) teachers and
54% of the teachers of Setswana respectively said that they use English only and
Setswana only during their lessons, thereby suggesting that they do not CS. This also
suggests that 26% of the English (L and L) and 46% of the teachers of Setswana also
CS. The statistical test results show that the differences in the responses above are
statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001). The results suggest that for subjects
taught in English, CS is more likely to occur during the lessons of content subjects than
during the English (L and L) lessons. However, during the language lessons, Setswana
180
teachers were more likely to code-switch to English than the English (L and L)
teachers would code-switch to Setswana.
The results also show that there were more teachers whose HL is Setswana (42%) who
stated that they CS during their lessons than those who said that they do not.
Conversely, there were more teachers whose HL is Ikalanga (53% vs. 35%), English
(67% vs. 33%), and Others (50% vs. 30%), who said that they use English only;
suggesting that they never CS more than those who said that they do. Although there
seems to be a difference in the teachers’ views about CS in the classroom, HL did not
influence the teachers’ views that much as the differences in views are not that
significant. Similarly, the statistical tests also confirmed the insignificance of these
results. The results suggest that there is more CS to Setswana during the lessons of the
teachers whose HL is Setswana than during the lessons of the other teachers.
The results also indicate that independent variables (school location, gender, teaching
experience and fluency in speaking English) had no effect on the teachers’ responses to
CS in the classroom as the differences in their views were not significant.
Consequently, the results were also statistically of no significance. However, the
differences in the teachers’ views based on age were significant: All the teachers of
mature age (100%) said they always use English in class, suggesting that there may be
no CS during their lessons. It should be noted that only 10% of the teachers were in
this category. However, the views of the middle-aged teachers and the younger
teachers were evenly split: Fifty percent of the former (middle-aged teachers) and 48%
of the latter (younger teachers) stated that they always use English only, but the other
50% of the former and the other 48% of the latter said they CS. The results suggest
that there is likely to be CS during the lessons of these two categories of teachers. The
statistical test result (p = 0.04) confirmed that the relationship between age and the
teachers’ views on their CS to Setswana is statistically significant. Furthermore,
during Setswana lessons, the majority of the younger teachers (67%) and the mature
teachers (75%) used limited CS; but the majority of the middle-aged teachers (63%)
did not CS. The results suggest that there was likely to be less CS in the Setswana
classes taught by middle-aged teachers than in the classes of the other categories of
teachers.
181
Table 5.8: Teachers’ attitude towards allowing learners to CS in the classroom
(RQ 2)
Feedback
1. I never allow my learners to cs to Setswana
2. I seldom allow cs to Setswana.
3. I allow my learners to cs to Setswana if they
have difficulty with English.
4. *I only allow the use of Setswana in my class.
Total
Frq
14
22
27
%
17
26
32
21
84
25
100
Please note: MFrq: 10; * Setswana teachers only.
The results in Table 5.8 above show that the majority of the teachers of the subjects
taught in English (58%) allowed CS in their classes, but 42% of the teachers never or
seldom allowed the learners to CS during their lessons; the latter included Setswana
teachers. The results suggest that Setswana is accepted as an alternative LoLT or MoI
in the classroom even though this is not an official policy. However, not all the
teachers were supportive of CS use in the classroom even though they were in the
minority.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The analysis of the results indicated that teaching experience, the nature of the subject
taught and home language had an effect on the teachers’ responses; and that other
independent variables (school location, gender, age and fluency in speaking English)
had no influence on the dependent variables. The statistical test results showed that
HL had no significant influence on the teachers’ views. However, there was a
significant tendency of relationship between the teachers’ views and teaching
experience, school location, gender and age. Furthermore, subject taught and fluency
in speaking English had a significant influence on the teachers’ views. The results
were as follows:
The results showed that 50% of the teachers whose HL is Ikalanga, and 50% of the
teachers whose HL is English (one teacher) seldom or never allowed CS to Setswana
in class. This suggests that the other half of each group allowed CS. Conversely, 60%
of the teachers whose HL is ‘Others’ and 44% of the teachers for whom HL is
Setswana allowed CS in their classes; this suggests that 40% and 56% respectively
182
never code-switched. The differences in the opinion of the teachers by HL were not
that significant, and consequently have no statistical significance. The results also
showed that there was a significant tendency of a relationship between the teachers’
views and teaching experience, school location, gender and age about the learners’ CS
in class: Sixty-eight percent of the inexperienced teachers and 65% of the moderately
experienced teachers seldom or never allowed CS during their lessons, but 62% of the
well-experienced and all the most experienced teachers (100%) allowed CS if learners
had difficulty expressing themselves in English. The results showed that teachers with
ten years’ experience and fewer were reluctant to allow CS use, but those with more
than ten years’ experience were willing to allow CS if learners experienced problems
with self-expression in English. This suggests that CS was less likely to occur during
the classes of the former (teachers with less than ten years’ expereince) than during the
classes of the latter (teachers with more than ten years’ expereince). The statistical test
result was (p = 0.08).
In addition, the majority of the teachers in peri-urban schools (S 3: 61%; S 4: 50%)
allowed their learners to CS to Setswana if they were unable to express themselves
well in English; but the majority of the teachers in the urban schools (S 1: 59%; S 2:
76%) seldom or never allowed CS. The results suggest that there was likely to be more
CS at peri-urban schools than at urban schools. The statistical test result was (p =
0.07). The results also indicate that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of gender
(male 59%; female 56%), seldom or never allowed CS in their classes. However, the
proportion of both male (41%) and female (44%) teachers who allowed CS was
somehow significant even though fewer than 50% in each case. The results suggest
that there were more teachers (male teachers) who did not allow CS than those who
did. The statistical test result was (p = 0.08). Furthermore, more of the younger
teachers (59%) and the middle-aged teachers (58%) were not keen to allow CS in their
classes; but the majority of the mature teachers (75%) allowed CS if learners were
unable to express themselves well in English. The results suggest that there was likely
to be more tolerance of CS for specific instructional / educational functions during the
lessons of the mature teachers than during the lessons of the middle-aged and the
younger teachers. The statistical test result (p = 0.07).
183
The results further showed that the majority of the teachers of content subjects
(Biology, Home Economics and History) allowed their learners to CS to Setswana in
class if they had difficulty expressing themselves well in English; but 80% of the
language teachers (English L and L) seldom or never allowed learners to CS in class.
The results suggest that there was likely to be more CS during the lessons of the
content subjects than during English (L and L) lessons. The statistical test result (p =
0.001) confirmed that the results above were statistically highly significant.
Furthermore, 57% of the fluent and 54% of the moderately fluent teachers were
reluctant to allow CS in their classes, but 43% of the former (fluent teachers) and 46%
of the latter (moderately fluent teachers) allowed CS. The results suggest that there
were more teachers, irrespective of fluency in English, who discouraged CS than those
who condoned it. Again the views of both the fluent and the moderately fluent were
very similar and were statistically highly significant (p = 0.001).
Table 5.9: Teachers responses on when learners are allowed to CS in the classroom
(RQ 2)
CS in class
1.Learners are allowed to express themselves in Setswana
in class only when speaking.
M Frq
Total
Frq
40
%
58
29
69
42
100
Please note: Non-Setswana teachers only.
The results in Table 5.9 above show that CS was limited to oral communication. This
suggests that CS is used as a strategy to facilitate spoken communication in class
where there is a problem communicating in English.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
Although the results showed that teaching experience and the nature of the subject
taught had an effect on the teachers’ responses, and that other independent variables
had no effect on the teachers’ views on when learners were allowed to CS, statistical
test results indicated that the teachers’ age had an influence on their opinions. Hence
the results were statistically significant. Teaching experience and subject taught also
somewhat influenced the teachers’ opinions. HL, school location, gender, and fluency
184
in speaking English had no influence of statistical significance to the teachers’ views.
The results were: more middle-aged teachers (65%) than the younger teachers (50%)
and the mature teachers (50%) allowed learners to CS when speaking in class. The
reason could be that the middle-aged teachers perceived CS as a teaching and learning
strategy that increased learner involvement in the lesson; the other teachers perhaps
perceived it as an impediment to language development. The statistical test result
shows that the relationship between the teachers’ views and age is significant (p =
0.02). Similarly, the results also showed that more teachers of content subjects than
the teachers of English (L and L) allowed their learners to CS to Setswana when
speaking in class (Biology: 76%, Home Economics: 86% and History: 75% vs. 36%).
It is self-evident that the relationship between the nature of the subject taught and the
teachers’ views is statistically highly significant (p = 0.006).
The results also show that the majority of the teachers in all categories of experience
(except the inexperienced teachers) allowed their learners to CS to Setswana in class
only when speaking. The results confirm that there was likely to be less CS in the
classes of the least experienced teachers than in the classes of the more experienced
teachers. The statistical test result (p = 0.09) shows that there was a significant
tendency for a relationship between teaching experience and the teachers’ opinion on
when learners were allowed to CS. However, HL, school location, gender, and fluency
in English had no significant influence on the teachers’ views about when they allowed
their learners to CS in class. The results suggest that CS was used by teachers to
explain the lesson, and by learners to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the
subject taught. The statistical test results showed that the relationship between the
teachers’ views and the four independent variables stated above was statistically not
significant.
Table 5.10: Teachers’ views on causes of CS by teachers and learners (RQ 3)
Agree
Proficiency in English
1. Teachers’ CS in class is not due to a
lack of proficiency in English.
2. Learners’ CS in class is due to a
lack of proficiency in English.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
52
%
65
N
10
%
12
N
3
%
18
N
80
%
100
M
Frq
N
14
62
77
10
12
9
11
81
100
13
185
The results in Table 5.10 above show that the majority of the teachers agreed that the
teachers’ CS to Setswana in class did not signal their lack of proficiency in English and
that the learners’ CS signalled their lack of proficiency in English as 65% and 77%
indicated respectively.
The results suggest that the teachers CS to Setswana in class to assist the learners who
have difficulty following a lesson presented in English, but not because they
themselves have problems with self-expression in English. They also allow the
learners to CS to Setswana to overcome language difficulty and to be able to
participate in the lesson. Therefore, CS in the classroom is used as an educational
strategy more for the benefit of the learners than for the teachers.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that gender and teaching experience had a significant influence on
the teachers’ views about the dependent variables in Table 5.10 above: the proportion
or number of female teachers who were of the opinion that teachers’ CS was not due to
a lack of proficiency in English was more than double the number of male teachers
who was of the same opinion. The statistical test results revealed that the relationship
between the teachers’ responses and gender was highly significant (p = 0.003). In
addition, the majority of both male and female teachers agreed that learners’ CS was
due to a lack of proficiency in English (82% vs. 71%). However, the results were not
statistically significant. Similarly, the relationship between the teachers’ views and
teaching experience was statistically significant (p = 0.02). In both cases, there were
more teachers (most experienced) who agreed with the views as indicated in Table
5.10 above than the other teachers. The other independent variables (subject taught,
HL, age, school location and fluency in speaking English) had no significant influence
on the teachers’ views, and therefore also were not statistically significant.
186
Table 5.11: Reasons for teachers’ use of CS in class: (RQ 4 ii)
Reasons
1. Increased learner participation
2. Better lesson comprehension
3. Promotion of Setswana as the national language
4. Promotion of learner attention
5. All of the above
6. None of the above
N
16
35
3
17
2
17
%
23
51
4
25
3
25
Please note: Total percentage not provided as respondents could choose more than one
item.
The results in Table 5.11 above represent only the views of the teachers of subjects
taught in English. These teachers (about 75% of them) use CS in the classroom with
varying degrees and for various reasons. The main reason is to address a problem of
comprehension (and communication) in English for teaching and learning to take
place. The least popular reason for CS in the classroom is to promote Setswana as a
national language. The results suggest that the majority of the teachers CS during their
lessons for pedagogical reasons.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that the nature of the subject taught had a significant influence on
the teachers’ views: the majority of the teachers of content subjects stated that they CS
mainly to promote comprehension of the lesson by learners, but only a minority of the
teachers of English (L and L) shared the similar view. The results suggest that teachers
of content subjects were more concerned about the learners’ comprehension of the
subject content than about improving their learners’ proficiency in English. They
viewed the latter as the role of the teachers of English. The minimal use of CS during
English (L and L) lessons suggests that the English teachers were concerned about the
promotion of proficiency in English language among the learners. The relationship
between the nature of the subject taught and the teachers’ views on the following
dependent variables was statistically highly significant:
ƒ
The use of CS to increase comprehension of the lesson among learners (p =
0.001);
ƒ
to capture learner attention (p = 0.005); and
187
ƒ
to increase learner participation (p = 0.001)
The results also indicated that age and school location had a significant influence on
the teachers’ views: the younger teachers code-switched more than the middle-aged
and the mature teachers: viz 13:87, 30:70 and 50:50. The results suggest that the
younger teachers were more likely to use CS in class to address the problem of
comprehension (and communication) than the middle-aged and the mature teachers.
The statistical test results showed that there was a significant tendency of relationship
between age and the teachers’ CS to capture learners’ attention (p = 0.07).
Furthermore, school location had a significant influence on the teachers’ views that
they do not CS to perform any of the tasks outlined in Table 5.11 above. The results
show that there is a significant tendency of relationship between school location (urban
or peri-urban) and the teachers’ views (p = 0.09): more teachers at urban schools than
at peri-urban schools stated that they did not CS in class. The results suggest that CS
was more likely to occur in peri-urban schools than in urban schools. This also
suggests that the problem of a lack of proficiency in English was more acute in periurban schools than in urban schools. Other results on the influence of school location
on the teachers’ views had no statistical significance. Similarly, the results on the
influence of gender, teaching experience, HL, and fluency in speaking English had no
statistical significance.
Table 5.12: Instances when teachers allow learners to code-switch to Setswana in the
classroom (RQ 4 ii)
CS to Setswana
1. Ask a question
2. To respond to teacher’s question
3. To summarize a lesson
4. To discuss class tasks
5. All the above
6. None of the above
N
12
13
2
15
19
35
%
17
19
3
22
28
51
Please note: Total and percentage could not be given as respondents could choose more than
one option.
The results in Table 5.12 above show that the learners were allowed to code-switch in
class to perform different tasks. However, they did not code-switch as much as the
teachers did as indicated earlier in Table 5.11. This supports an earlier observation that
teachers code-switch but discouraged their learners from doing so. The results suggest
188
that CS was used more by the teachers than by the learners, and that it was largely
meant to facilitate communication in the classroom due to the learners’ inability to
express themselves in English as mentioned. However, not all teachers allowed CS by
learners even though nearly half of the teachers (49%) allowed their learners to CS.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that gender, subject taught, fluency in speaking English and age had a
significant influence on the teachers’ views about the dependent variables contained in
Table 5.12 above. There was a relationship of statistical significance between the
teachers’ responses and gender: both the male and female teachers allowed their
learners to CS, but more male teachers than female teachers did not allow their learners
to CS. The proportion or number of male teachers who did not allow CS was almost
double the proportion of teachers who allowed it (60% vs. 38%).
The statistical tests confirmed that the relationship between gender and tolerance (by
female teachers) for learners’ CS was statistically significant (p = 0.03); and the
relationship between gender and less tolerance for learners’ CS (by male teachers) was
statistically highly significant (p = 0.005).
The results on the relationship between subject taught and the teachers’ views about
CS in the classroom were significant: CS was more permissible during the lessons of
content subjects than during English (L and L) lessons. The statistical test results
showed that the relationship between subject taught and the teachers’ views on
allowing learners to CS when asking a question was statistically significant (p = 0.04):
only 6% of the teachers of English (L and L) allowed this practice, but for content
subjects the percentage was more (Biology: 29%; History: 13%; and Home
Economics: 28%). Similarly, the relationship between subject taught and the teachers’
views on the learners’ CS to respond to the teacher’s question was also statistically
highly significant (p = 0.006): 3% of English (L and L) teachers allowed learners to CS
when responding to a teacher’s question, but for Biology and History it was 24% and
25% respectively; and for Home Economics teachers, it was 43%. Therefore, the
results suggest that the nature of the subject taught (language or content) influenced the
teachers’ attitude towards CS in the classroom.
189
Furthermore, age had a significant influence on the teachers’ views about when they
allowed CS in their classes: more mature teachers (50:50) than the other teachers
allowed their learners to answer in Setswana in class, with the least CS occurring
during the classes of the middle-aged (10:90) than during the classes of the younger
teachers (21:79). The learners were also allowed to CS when asking a question in
class, and the least CS once again took place during the lessons of the middle-aged
teachers (10:90) when compared with CS taking place during the lessons of the
younger teachers and the mature teachers (25:75) in each case. Statistically, there was
a significant tendency towards a relationship between age and the teachers’ views
about the learners’ CS when asking and answering a question in class (p = 0.07). In
addition, the results also showed that the few middle-aged teachers who condoned CS
allowed it all the time, but more teachers of younger ages and the mature ages
occasionally allowed it. For instance, 5% of the middle-aged teachers stated that they
allowed learners to CS to perform all the classroom functions listed in Table 5.12
above but none of the younger teachers and the mature teachers allowed CS at the
same frequency. The results were statistically significant (p = 0.03).
It was noted previously that more of the younger teachers and of the middle-aged
teachers than the mature teachers stated that they code-switched in class. However, on
learners’ CS, fewer of the younger teachers and the middle-aged teachers allowed it,
but the proportion of mature teachers who allowed it was the same as those who did
not allow it: (younger: 87:46; middle-aged: 70:53, mature: 50:50). This suggests that
although CS was used as a mode of interaction between teachers and learners, among
the younger and the middle-aged teachers, it was an instructional strategy used or
allowed to ensure comprehension during lessons, but not necessarily a strategy that
learners could always use to participate in the lesson. However, for the mature
teachers, CS was a two-way strategy used to facilitate lesson comprehension, and to
enable learners to participate in the lesson, as well.
Similarly, fluency in speaking English had a significant influence on the teachers’
views on some of the dependent variables listed in Table 5.12 above. Statistically, the
relationship between fluency in speaking English and the teachers’ views on the
learners’ CS to ask a question and to answer the teacher’s question was statistically
highly significant (p = 0.001) and significant (p = 0.01) respectively: almost the same
190
proportion of the teachers fluent in English and the teachers moderately fluent in
English stated that they allowed CS when learners asked questions (16% vs. 17%) and
when learners answered a question in Setswana (14% vs. 17%). The results were
significant in that the fluent teachers were not expected to condone CS. However, the
results indicated that CS was a communication strategy allowed by the teachers in their
classes, regardless of their fluency in English, to enable learners to participate in the
lesson. This suggests that teachers recognized that the learners’ lack of competency in
spoken English prevented them from participating in the lesson. Therefore, allowing
CS was a way of overcoming the difficulty in communication. The other results
showed that fluency in speaking English had no significant influence on the differences
in the teachers’ responses.
The results also showed that teaching experience, HL and school location had no
significant influence on the teachers’ views about the learners’ CS. Therefore, the
relationship between these independent variables and the teachers’ views about the
dependent variables listed in Table 5.12 above was not statistically significant.
Table 5.13: Teachers’ views on the educational benefits of CS in a Setswana class (RQ 4
ii)
CS in a Setswana class
In Setswana class I sometimes:
1. Use English to clarify a point.
2. Allow learners to explain in
English.
Agree
N
21
8
Disagree
Not Sure
N
3
14
N
1
0
%
84
36
%
12
64
%
4
0
Total
N
25
21
%
100
100
M
Frq
N
0
4
Please note: Only the views of Setswana teachers.
The results in Table 5.13 above show that the majority of the teachers of Setswana
(84%) CS to clarify a point, but they did not allow their learners to CS even when they
had difficulty explaining themselves in Setswana, as stated by 64% of the teachers.
The results show that CS also takes place in Setswana classes; and that the teachers
freely code-switched as and whenever they wished, but the learners were not allowed
to freely code-switch. The results also show that some Setswana teachers, even though
they were in the minority, recognized the value of CS, which is to facilitate teaching
and learning,
191
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of teaching
experience, age, school location, gender, HL and fluency in speaking English, stated
that they sometimes CS to English to clarify a point. All Setswana teachers considered
themselves to be fluent in English. The results also showed that fluency in speaking
English and subject taught had no influence on the teachers’ views about allowing
learners to CS to English during Setswana lessons. However, the majority of the
teachers in all the categories of experience, except the least experienced, who were also
the younger teachers, did not allow learners to CS to Setswana. The results suggest
that during the lessons of younger and inexperienced teachers there was likely to be
more CS to English than during the lessons of other teachers. However, the differences
in the results were not that significant. Similarly, school location and gender had no
significant effect on the differences in the teachers’ responses. None of the results
above was statistically significant. Statistical tests were not applicable to the nature of
the subject taught as the dependent variables specifically referred to Setswana as a
subject only.
Table 5.14: Teachers’ views on the effect of CS on teaching and learning pace (RQ 4 iii)
Agree
Effect of CS on teaching
1. CS during the lesson
is a waste of teaching time.
N
8
%
10
Disagree
Not Sure
N
53
N
16
%
69
%
21
Total
N
77
%
100
M
Frq
N
17
The results in Table 5.14 above show that the majority of the teachers were of the view
that CS did not slow down the pace of teaching and learning; and therefore had no
adverse effect on curriculum coverage. The results suggest that although the teachers
had positive views about CS, not all them code-switched, hence some were not sure
about its effect on teaching and learning.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results show that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of HL, subject taught,
school location, gender, teaching experience, age, and fluency in speaking English, did
not view the use of CS as a waste of teaching time. However, only the results of the
192
effect of teaching experience and fluency in speaking English on the teachers’ views
were significant. The results were such that although teachers, irrespective of teaching
experience, did not agree that CS had an adverse effect on teaching time, there was a
significant difference between the proportion of the well-experienced teachers and the
other teachers (89% vs. 69%, 54% and 60%). The statistical test result (p = 0.005)
showed that the relationship between teaching experience and the teachers’ views
about the effect of CS on teaching time was highly significant. Similarly, the results
on the effect of fluency in speaking English on the teachers’ views were significant.
The majority of both the teachers fluent in English and the teachers moderately fluent
in English agreed that CS did not waste teaching time. This confirms an earlier view
that both categories of teachers code-switched and allowed their learners to codeswitch. The results suggest that the majority of the teachers were of the opinion that
CS had an educational value and did not merely constitute a repetition of lesson
material previously presented in English. The relationship between fluency in
speaking English and the teachers’ views is statistically significant (p = 0.01).
The results of the effect of other independent variables (gender, age, HL, subject
taught, school location) on the teachers’ views were not statistically significant. The
results suggest that both male and female teachers of all age groups, regardless of their
HL, and teaching either content or language subjects in urban and peri-urban schools,
were likely to code-switch and to allow CS in their classes.
Table 5.15: Teachers’ views on the didactic consequences of CS in the schools (Q4 i)
Agree
Didactic effect of CS
1. Learners understand better when I
explain some lesson parts in Setswana.
2. Using both English and Setswana
prevents proficiency in English among
the learners.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
35
%
64
N
13
%
24
N
7
%
13
N
55
%
100
M
Frq
N
14
30
37
33
40
18
22
81
100
13
Please note: Item 1 excludes views of Setswana teachers.
The results in Table 5.15 above show that the majority of the teachers were of the view
that CS to Setswana improved understanding of the lessons and further did not prevent
the development of proficiency in English among learners. The results suggest that
193
teachers viewed CS, be it to Setswana or to English, as a positive teaching strategy.
The results also suggest that while some teachers were only concerned about the
educational benefits of CS, others (although in the minority) were apprehensive about
the effect of CS use on language development. The latter view is held by 37% of the
teachers.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results show that the nature of the subject taught and HL had a significant effect
on the teachers’ views about the didactic consequences of CS in schools. The majority
of the teachers of English (L and L) stated that CS had negative effects on the learners’
proficiency in English, but teachers of content subjects said it had no adverse effect on
the proficiency in English, even though the opinion of the Home Economics’ teachers
was evenly divided (English: 62% vs. History: 57%; Biology: 50% and Home
Economics: 40%). The results suggest that, from the point of view of language
development in English, the language teachers did not support CS, but the teachers of
the content subjects did not have any objection as their primary focus was more on
understanding the content among the learners, and less on the improvement of
proficiency in the target language. The relationship between subject taught and the
teachers’ views on the effect of CS on English proficiency among learners was
statistically significant (p = 0.04). However, there were no significant differences in
the teachers’ responses on the effect of the nature of subject taught on the teachers’
views about CS to improve comprehension of the lesson. The majority of the teachers,
regardless of the nature of subject taught, agreed that CS enhanced understanding the
content of the lessons. Consequently, the results had no statistical significance.
The results also show that the differences in the teachers’ responses by HL regarding
the effect of CS on the comprehension of the content of the lesson were significant: the
majority of the teachers, for whom Setswana, Ikalanga and those whose HL falls under
‘Others’, whose HLs were one of the indigenous languages, agreed that CS promoted
understanding of the lessons, but all the teachers whose HL is English, which is also
the LoLT or MoI (100%) disagreed. The results show that HL influenced the teachers’
opinion. Furthermore, differences in the proportion of teachers who agreed by HL
were significant (Setswana: 79%; Ikalanga: 45%; and ‘Others’: 53%). The results
suggest that the teachers for whom Setswana is a HL were likely to CS to Setswana
194
during their lessons whilst the teachers for whom Ikalanga is a HL were less likely to
CS to Setswana during their lessons. The statistical test results (p = 0.03) showed that
the relationship between HL and the teachers’ views on the effect of CS on the
learners’ comprehension of the lessons were statistically significant. However, the
results on the effect of HL on the teachers’ views about the effect of CS on proficiency
in English among learners were not that significant.
The results also showed that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of fluency in
speaking English, age, school location, teaching experience, and gender, agreed that
CS enhanced teaching and learning. The differences in the teachers’ responses were
not significant; therefore, none of the five independent variables above had an
influence on the teachers’ views. The statistical tests results were also not statistically
significant.
Table 5.16: Teachers’ views on the educational benefits of CS (RQ 4 ii)
Agree
Effect of CS on T and L
1. CS between English and Setswana
promotes teaching and learning
N
41
%
54
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
18
N
17
N
76
%
24
%
22
%
100
M
Frq
N
18
The results in Table 5.16 above indicate that the majority of the 78% of the teachers
who gave a definite answer held positive views about the effect of CS on teaching and
learning. The 22% who were non-committal suggest that they did not CS in their
classes. The results suggest that the majority of the teachers viewed CS (especially
between Setswana and English) as educationally beneficial; and are therefore likely to
use it.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results show that there were differences in opinion between teachers of content
subjects and English (L and L): the former (Biology: 58%; History: 57%; Home
Economics: 75%) agreed that CS promotes teaching and learning, but the latter -English (L and L) did not support CS (38% disagreed; 29% agreed), and viewed the
practice to be at odds with the main objective of their department. However, the
majority of Setswana teachers (73%) held positive views about CS in general. Their
195
response was unexpected, given the assumption that as teachers of a language subject,
they would discourage CS. The results suggest that the use of CS was least likely to
occur in the English (L and L) lessons than in the lessons of the other subjects,
including Setswana. Therefore, there were no significant differences in views between
Setswana teachers and the teachers of content subjects. The results were therefore
statistically not significant.
Furthermore, other independent variables, namely school location, age, teaching
experience, gender, HL, and fluency in speaking English had no influence on the
teachers’ responses; and the majority of the teachers shared the view that CS promotes
teaching and learning. The results suggest that CS is a common occurrence in the
classroom. Therefore neither the differences in the teachers’ responses nor the results
stated above were statistically significant.
Table 5.17: Teachers’ attitude towards CS for instructional purposes (RQ 5 i)
Teacher’s CS
I have no problem CS
during my lessons.
Agree
Disagree
Not Sure
N
34
N
35
N
6
%
45
%
47
%
8
Total
N
75
%
100
M
Frq
N
19
The results in Table 5.17 above show that there was no significant difference in the
proportion of the teachers who found CS problematic, and those who did not (47% vs.
45%).
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results show that there was a significant difference in the teachers’ responses by
the nature of subject taught. Among the subjects taught in English, the majority of the
English (L and L) teachers (74%) and Home Economics teachers (60%) objected to
CS, but the majority of the Biology teachers (56%) and those of History (71%) had no
problem regarding CS in their classes. There was not much of a significant difference
in views among the teachers of content subjects. However, among the language
subjects, the nature of the subject taught had an influence on the teachers’ views:
Setswana teachers held different views from those of English (L and L). The former
did not object to CS, but the latter did (55% vs. 74% respectively). The result on the
196
relationship between the teachers’ views and subject taught is statistically significant (p
= 0.04).
On the contrary, the results show that there were no striking significant differences
about CS during lessons in the views among teachers by gender, school location, age,
teaching experience, HL and fluency in speaking English. In this regard, none of the
six independent variables had a significant influence on the teachers’ views.
Therefore, the results were not statistically significant.
5.5 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE ROLE OF SETSWANA IN EDUCATION
Table 5.18: Teachers’ views on the effects of Botswana’s LiEP on the use of Setswana in
education (RQ 6)
Agree
Setswana in education
1. Setswana should be used
during Setswana lessons only.
2. Using Setswana in class is
a sign of national pride.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
34
%
43
N
40
%
51
N
5
%
6
N
79
%
100
M
Frq
N
15
27
33
36
44
18
22
81
100
13
The results in Table 5.18 above show that there were more teachers who supported the
use of Setswana in non-Setswana classes than those who were opposed to it (51% vs.
43%). The results suggest that the majority of teachers, although not by many, were of
the view that Setswana, as a national language, had a role to play in education.
However, the proportion of those who were opposed to its use signifies that some
teachers were apprehensive about using Setswana for teaching and learning other
subjects apart from Setswana.
Once again, more teachers did not view the use of Setswana in class as a sign of
national pride (44% vs. 33%). Nonetheless, this view could not be said to be popular
as fewer than half the respondents subscribed to it. The results suggest that the use of
Setswana in class is purely didactic – to overcome a communication problem, not to
promote it deliberately as a national language.
197
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results indicated that gender, subject taught, school location and fluency in
speaking English had a significant influence on the teachers’ responses to the use of
Setswana in education: 56% of the male teachers did not support the use of Setswana
(LoLT) to teach other subjects apart from Setswana as a subject, but 58% of the female
teachers supported it. The results also showed that 62% of the male teachers disagreed
with the view that the use of Setswana in class was a sign of national pride, but 39% of
the female teachers were in agreement. Almost a third (32%) of the female teachers
were not sure of what their opinions were. These could be teachers who do not teach
Setswana and may not be concerned about the promotion of Setswana as a national
language. The results suggest that the male teachers were opposed to Setswana
assuming a similar role to that of English in education, but the female teachers were
supportive of its use as a LoLT. The statistical test results showed that the differences
in the teachers’ responses above were statistically highly significant (p = 0.009).
The results above are not consistent with the earlier results that male teachers tended to
CS more than the female teachers. Given their rate of CS during their lessons, one
would have expected the male teachers to support Setswana use in the teaching of
other subjects. This implies that male teachers were satisfied with the informal use of
Setswana in class, in the form of CS to address specific language problems during
lessons of subjects taught in English. On the other hand, female teachers seemed to
favour the official use of Setswana as the LoLT even for subjects currently taught in
‘English’.
The results also showed that the teachers of the two language subjects (English and
Setswana) held opposite views: 68% of the English (L and L) teachers supported the
view that Setswana should never be used in class except during Setswana lessons, but
73% of Setswana teachers disagreed. In addition, 83% of the Setswana teachers agreed
that using Setswana in class was a sign of national pride, but 64% of the English (L
and L) teachers were not of the same opinion. Each group ‘jealously’ guarded their
subject. In the researcher’s view, the English (L and L) teachers viewed the use of
Setswana outside Setswana lessons as reducing the importance of English in the
curriculum; and the Setswana teachers viewed the use of Setswana outside Setswana
198
lessons as promotion of Setswana in the curriculum. Furthermore, the majority of the
teachers of content subjects also supported the use of Setswana in the teaching of other
subjects, even though the History teachers’ views were evenly divided. The results
suggest that the teachers of the other subjects taught in ‘English’ were more likely to
CS to Setswana during their lessons than the teachers of English (L and L). The results
are consistent with earlier results stated above (cf. Table 5.4 above). However, these
teachers specifically supported the use of Setswana as the LoLT in primary schools.
The majority of the teachers of content subjects (Biology: 61%; and History: 71%) did
not view the use of Setswana as a mark of national pride. Fifty seven percent of the
teachers in Home Economics were not sure, while more disagreed (29%) than agreed
(14%).
The results showed that subject taught influenced the teachers’ opinion in that only
Setswana teachers supported the view that using Setswana in class was a sign of
national pride. The teachers of English (L and L) and content subjects, who also taught
in ‘English’, did not support this view. The views of Setswana teachers are not
unexpected, given that it is also within their mandate to promote Setswana as a national
language. The results suggest that the teachers of the subjects taught in ‘English’ CS
to Setswana, not to promote Setswana as a national language, but to overcome the
language problem that their learners experienced as had been observed. The results
above were statistically highly significant (p = 0.003), showing that the relationship
between the teachers’ responses and the nature of the subject taught is highly
significant.
Furthermore, the results showed that 61% of the teachers at S 1 and 63% of the
teachers at S 3 supported the use of Setswana for teaching other subjects, but at S 2 and
S 4, 50% and 53% respectively were of the view that Setswana should only be used
during Setswana lessons. Although schools within the same location had divergent
views, the differences in opinion were not that significant. Hence the results were not
statistically significant. The results further showed that 42% and 70% of the teachers
at S 2 and S 4 disagreed with the view that using Setswana in class was a sign of
national pride, but at S 1 and S 3 33% and 47% agreed respectively. It was noted that a
significant number of teachers at S 1, S 2 and S 3 were non-committal, hence the low
number of those who gave a definite opinion. The results were, however, somehow
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significant in that the majority of the teachers at S 4 were clearly opposed to the idea
that using Setswana in class suggested showing national pride. The results were not
unexpected as Setswana was used less as a home language but more as a national
language. Naturally, a significant proportion of the teachers who spoke Ikalanga as
HL, had more of an affinity for their own language than for Setswana. The statistical
test result (p = 0.06) showed that there was a significant tendency of relationship
between school location and the teachers’ responses on using Setswana to demonstrate
national pride.
The results also showed that 49% of the fluent and 50% of the moderately fluent
teachers supported the view that Setswana should be used in the teaching of other
subjects. However, the remaining 50% of the moderately fluent teachers were opposed
to the use of Setswana as a LoLT. The results are significant in that the moderately
fluent teachers were expected to support the use of Setswana in the teaching of other
subjects, while the fluent teachers were not expected to be supportive it. The results
above were statistically highly significant (p = 0.001). In addition, 48% of the fluent
teachers did not view the use of Setswana in class as a sign of national pride, but 40%
of the moderately fluent teachers viewed it as such. The results suggest that the
moderately fluent teachers were more likely to use Setswana in their classes than the
teachers more fluent in English. However, the differences in the teachers’ views were
not that significant. Consequently, the results were not statistically significant.
However, teaching experience, HL and age had no significant influence on the
teachers’ views on the two dependent variables contained in Table 5.18 above. The
majority of the teachers with the least experience and 50% of those with the most
experience had similar views, but those in the middle categories shared similar views,
as well. In addition, only the well-experienced teachers (50%) viewed the use of
Setswana in class as a sign of national pride. The results suggest the following: The
teachers with six to15 years’ experience were more likely to CS to Setswana in class
than the least and the most experienced teachers. However, although the majority of
the teachers mainly used Setswana in class to compensate for the learners’ lack of
competency in English, the majority of the well-experienced teachers used it for
pedagogical as well as reasons of national identity.
200
The results also showed that 49% of the teachers whose HL is Setswana and 63% of
the teachers whose HL falls in the category ‘Others’, supported the view that Setswana
should be used in the teaching of the other subjects, but 62% of the teachers whose HL
is Ikalanga and the two teachers whose HL is English (100%) were not in support of
this view. The results suggest that the former group supported a wide use of Setswana
in the curriculum; but the latter did not support this notion. As previously alluded to,
the teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’ appear to have accepted Setswana as a
national language even though their languages are not taught in the schools. These
teachers were very few (11), and accounted for only 13% of the teachers who
participated in the study. Furthermore, the majority of the teachers, irrespective of HL,
did not view the use of Setswana as a sign of national pride. This suggests that the
majority of the teachers used Setswana purely for didactic reasons but not for its status
as a national language.
The results also showed that 57% of the younger teachers did not support the view that
Setswana should be used to teach other subjects; but 55% of the middle-aged and 63%
of the mature teachers supported this view. The results suggest that the younger
teachers were less likely to CS in their classes than the middle-aged and the mature
teachers. However, the differences in the teachers’ opinion were not that significant.
The results also showed that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of age, disagreed
with the view that using Setswana is a sign of national pride; even though the views of
the mature teachers were evenly divided (44%). This suggests that the majority of the
teachers, irrespective of age, used Setswana purely for pedagogical reasons.
The results expressed on the influence of teaching experience, HL and age on the
teachers’ views about the use of Setswana as the LoLT and using Setswana to
demonstrate national pride were not statistically significant.
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5.6 TEACHERS’ VIEWS ON THE ROLE OF OTHER LOCAL LANGUAGES
IN EDUCATION
Table 5.19: Teachers’ use of local languages in class (RQ 2)
Always
Local languages in T and L
Teachers use other local
languages to ensure learners’
understanding.
N
6
%
8
Sometimes
N
43
%
55
Never
N
29
%
37
Total
N
78
M
Frq
N
16
%
100
The results in Table 5.19 above show that CS to a local language also occurred in the
classroom as indicated by 63% of the teachers. The results suggest that, in addition to
CS between English and Setswana, CS may also take place to a local language.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variable
The results showed that the differences in the teachers’ opinions about the use of local
languages were not significant; hence none of the six independent variables (teaching
experience, fluency in speaking English, subject taught, HL, age, and gender) had a
significant impact on the teachers’ views. Furthermore, teachers at the two urban
schools held a different opinion than those at the two peri-urban schools viz. that local
languages were not used in class as indicated by 60% and 52% of the teachers at S 1
and S 2 respectively, and that local languages were used in class as indicated by 87.5%
and 89% of the teachers at S 3 and S 4 respectively. The results suggest that CS to a
local language was more likely to occur at the two peri-urban schools than at the two
urban schools. However, it is important to note that a significant number of the
teachers whose HL is Ikalanga (47%), the main local language of the area, denied that
a local language was used in class. Hence the results above are not statistically
significant.
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Table 5.20: Local languages often used in class (RQ 2)
Local Languages
N
%
1. Ikalanga
5. Sebirwa
6. Setswapong
Total
75
1
2
78
96
1
3
100
M Frq: 22
The results in Table 5.20 above show that Ikalanga is the main local language often
used in the classroom. These results were not unexpected, given that Ikalanga is the
language of the area and a home language for over 25% of the teachers and more than
50% of the learners (cf. Table 4.5 and Table 4.14 in Chapter 4).
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
All the independent variables, namely gender, teaching experience, subject taught,
home language, fluency in speaking English, age and school location, had no effect on
the teachers’ responses. Furthermore, by school location, the proportion of the
teachers who stated that Ikalanga, as the local language, was often used in the
classroom, was higher at the two peri-urban schools (S 3 and S 4) than at the two urban
schools (S 1 and S 2) (31% and 31% vs. 21% and 18% respectively). The results
suggest that Ikalanga was more likely to be used in the classroom at the two peri-urban
schools than at the two urban schools. However, the results were not that significant.
None of the results (that is to say, the influence of all seven the independent variables
on the dependent variable contained in Table 5.20) above were statistically significant.
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Table 5.21: Teachers’ views on the effect of Botswana’s LiEP on other local languages
(RQ 6)
Agree
Local languages in education
1. I have no problem when a learner
uses his / her local language in class.
2. There is no need to use other local
languages in class besides English.
3. I sometimes use the learners’ local
language in class to ensure
understanding of the lesson.
4. Allowing learners to use their local
language in class does not help them
improve their spoken English.
5. Allowing learners to use their local
language does not increase class
participation.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
13
%
17
N
58
%
75
N
6
%
8
N
77
%
100
M
Frq
N
17
25
32
37
47
16
21
78
100
16
28
36
45
58
4
5
77
100
17
51
69
14
19
9
12
74
100
20
17
23
29
40
27
37
73
100
21
The results in Table 5.21 above show that the majority of the teachers have negative
perceptions about the use of the learners’ local language in class as shown by the
following:
•
They neither used nor allowed learners to use their local language in class to
enhance understanding their lessons as indicated by 75% and 58% of the
teachers respectively.
•
They agreed that allowing the learners to use their specific local language
negatively impacts on attaining fluency in English as indicated by 69% of the
teachers. Interestingly, a similar question was asked earlier about CS between
English and Setswana, and teachers stated that CS to Setswana did not have a
negative impact on English proficiency among the learners. One is therefore
compelled to ask: Why would CS to a local language negatively affect English
proficiency if CS to Setswana does not? This question will be addressed in
Chapter Eight.
Despite the negative perceptions of CS to a local language expressed above, there were
some teachers who saw the need to use it in education. As examples, the following:
204
•
Forty seven percent (47%) of the teachers indicated that there was need to use
other local languages in class besides English, even though almost one-third
(32%) had reservations about it.
•
Forty percent (40%) of the teachers agreed that allowing learners to CS to their
local language in class increased class participation, even though 23% did not
agree.
The results suggest that local languages were viewed as having a minimal role or no
role to play in education, and were regarded largely as LFIC languages. The responses
by some teachers that they were not sure about the effects of the use of a local
language in class suggest that these were the teachers who never CS to the learners’
local language as it was not officially permissible to do so, or because they did not
speak it.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that home language, subject taught, and gender had a significant
effect on the teachers’ views about the dependent variables contained in Table 5.21
above: The majority of the teachers did not CS to a local language to enhance
understanding of the lesson, except for 60% of the teachers whose HL falls in the
category ‘Others’, who stated that they sometimes CS to a local language in class. The
results were unexpected in that the teachers whose HL is Ikalanga were expected to use
their HL that the majority of the learners also spoke and understood, and not the
teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’.
The teachers’ views differed on the need to use a local language in class. Among the
language subjects, 50% of the teachers of English (L and L) said that there was no need
to use it, but 86% of the teachers of Setswana disagreed and pointed out a need for it.
The results suggest that, as previously explained, the English (L and L) teachers were
protective of the use of English in education; but the teachers of Setswana, as one of
the indigenous languages in Botswana, also supported the use of other local languages
in education. Similarly, among the teachers of subjects taught in English, 43% of the
History teachers held similar views as the English (L and L) teachers, but 60% of the
Home Economics teachers and 44% of the Biology teachers shared similar views as
those of the Setswana teachers. The results also indicated that the opinion of the
205
English (L and L) teachers was different from the rest of the other teachers who teach
their subjects in English (except for 43% of the History teachers). This also suggests a
protectionist tendency among the English (L and L) teachers.
Despite the teachers’ negative perceptions about the use of a local language in class,
the results show that among the teachers who gave a definite answer (a significant
number of them were not sure), there were more teachers, irrespective of subjects
taught, who agreed that allowing the learners to use a local language in class increased
class participation. Similarly, the majority of the teachers whose HL is Setswana, or
Ikalanga, or ‘Others’, shared the same view, except for the two teachers whose HL is
English and who were opposed to this practice. The results on the effect of HL on the
teachers’ views show that the teachers whose HL is one of the indigenous languages
were positive about the use of local languages in education, but the two teachers whose
HL is English had negative views on the use of local languages in class.
The majority of both the male teachers and female teachers also shared the same
sentiments. While the majority of female teachers (57%) found it unnecessary to use a
local language in class, besides English, the male teachers’ opinions were evenly
divided on the issue (36% agreed that it was necessary, and the other 36% stated that it
was unnecessary).
The results suggest that, generally, the majority of the teachers, irrespective of subject
taught, HL and gender, had more negative than positive perceptions about the use of
local languages in class. By subject taught, this negative perception was more evident
among the teachers of English (L and L) than among the teachers who taught content
subjects as well as the teachers who taught Setswana. This suggests that the English (L
and L) teachers were less likely to CS to a local language than the teachers of the other
subjects. The teachers whose HL is any of the indigenous languages (Ikalanga, or
Setswana, or ‘Others’) were more receptive to the idea of using a local language in
class than teachers for whom English was a HL. The results suggest that the former
(teachers whose HL is any of the indigenous languages) were more likely to use a local
language in class as long as they could speak it and it was intelligible to the learners.
The results also suggest that these teachers did not use a local language in class
because it was not yet officially permissible to do so, not because they were overly
206
concerned about the fact. By gender, the results suggest that the both male and female
teachers largely viewed the local languages as languages with a limited educational
role. However, the female teachers were more negative towards the use of a local
language in class than their male colleagues. Therefore, they were less likely to CS to
a local language in class.
The results on the influence of subject taught, gender and HL on the teachers’ views on
allowing learners to CS to a local language to increase class participation were
significant, and also statistically significant. The relationship between subject taught
and HL and the differences in the teachers’ responses on allowing learners to CS to a
local language to increase participation, was statistically significant (p = 0.02, and p =
0.03 respectively). Similarly, the relationship between home language and the
differences in the teachers’ responses to the learners’ use of a local language in class is
statistically significant (p = 0.03). There was also a significant tendency for a
relationship between HL and the differences in the teachers’ responses on allowing
learners to CS to a local language to increase participation (p = 0.06). Further, there
was a significant tendency for a relationship between subject taught and the differences
in the teachers’ responses to the need to use other local languages in class (p = 0.09).
Other results had no statistical significance.
The results suggest that, although the majority of the teachers had negative perceptions
about the use of local languages in education generally, some recognized that,
potentially, these languages could enhance teaching and learning. The results also
suggest that currently, these teachers do not CS to a local language as the LiEP does
not cover such a provision, not because they did not recognize some of the educational
benefits of using a local language for teaching and learning. However, they
acknowledge the negative effect of allowing the use of a local language in class on the
development of a proficiency in English.
Furthermore, the effect of teaching experience, age, fluency in speaking English and
school location on the teachers’ views on the dependent variables contained in Table
5.21 above was investigated but found to be of no significance. The results (indicated
that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of all the independent variables stated
above, disapproved of CS to local languages in class. They found their use
207
unnecessary and stated that allowing learners to use them negatively impacted on the
learners’ attainment of a proficiency in English. However, on a positive note, the
majority of the teachers, irrespective of the length of their teaching experience, age,
fluency in speaking English, and school location agreed that allowing learners to CS to
their local language increased class participation. None of the results above was
statistically significant.
5.7 SHORT SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
The teachers’ responses discussed above have shown that both the teachers and the
learners CS in the classroom. The teachers generally had a positive attitude towards
CS in the classroom, but they supported its use more by teachers than by learners.
They viewed its use by teachers as a way of addressing the problem of a lack of full
competence in English among the majority of their learners which, in their view,
negatively affected teaching and learning. The teachers’ views suggest that they
believed that they had acquired a proficiency in English, therefore their CS was not due
to a lack of proficiency in English. Furthermore, although both boys and girls CS, in
the teachers’ views, boys CS more than girls, and the latter were more fluent in English
than the former.
The results also showed that the teachers whose home language is English or Ikalanga
consistently shared the same views; and the teachers whose HL is Setswana or ‘Others’
also consistently shared similar views on issues relating to language use in the
classroom. It was also noted that, generally, the teachers whose HL falls in the
category ‘Others’, were positive about the use of Setswana. This suggests that they
have accepted it as a national language. The teachers whose HL is Ikalanga were
generally negative about the use of Setswana (LoLT); while teachers whose HL is
Setswana were consistently negative towards the use of other local languages, such as
Ikalanga in education. The teachers whose HL is English were opposed to the use of
both Setswana and a local language in class.
Furthermore, the results showed that while the independent variables did not have
much influence on the teachers’ views in the case of most of the dependent variables,
208
where there was an effect, there often was a relationship between experience and age.
The results also showed that generally, gender and fluency in speaking English did not
indicate much of a difference in the teachers’ views, but the nature of the subject
taught and school location influenced the teachers’ views to some extent.
Having presented the teachers’ responses, the learners’ responses are presented in the
next chapter in a similar fashion.
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CHAPTER SIX
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF QUANTITATIVE
DATA: LEARNERS’ RESPONSES
6.1 INTRODUCTION
The previous chapter dealt with the analysis of the teachers’ responses to the questions
set in the questionnaire to gather information for the researcher to be able to answer the
research questions. The present chapter deals with the views of the learners in
response to questions similar to those set for the teachers. These responses were
analysed to answer the main research questions, which will subsequently address the
main objective of the study.
The learners’ views, like those of the teachers were divided into three main sections
according to their relevance to the sub-themes of the study: (i) The first section deals
with the learners’ subjective self-evaluation of their proficiency in English (as the
language of focus in the study because of its role as LoLT), and their evaluation of
their teachers’ proficiency in English. The learners’ views on the teachers’
proficiency, as well as their own proficiency in English are important because they
impact on their views on CS in the classroom by each group of respondents. (ii) The
second section deals with the learners’ views on the role of English and Setswana in
education, including CS between the two in the classroom. (iii) The third section deals
with the learners’ views on the use of Setswana and other indigenous languages as the
LoLT.
6.2 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER
The independent variables used to further analyze the learners’ data are:
ƒ
academic ability.
ƒ
fluency in speaking English (fluent or not fluent); and
ƒ
form / grade (F 4 or F 5);
210
ƒ
Gender;
ƒ
home language;
ƒ
school location (urban or peri-urban);
Academic ability was not measured in any scientific way. Instead, the learners’ Junior
Certificate examination results, including their performance in the Science subjects,
were used by schools to categorize learners into three main streams viz.: low ability
(LA), medium ability (MA) and high ability (HA). As explained in Chapter Three, the
LA learners were considered academically weak and followed a combined Science
syllabus that culminated in a single Science examination consisting of components of
Physics, Chemistry and Biology. This syllabus was considered basic to expose the
learners to the basic principles in each of the three Sciences. The MA learners were
considered to be of average ability and followed a syllabus that culminated in two
Science examination papers. The two papers were considered academically more
challenging than the paper for LA learners. The HA learners were considered to be the
academically gifted group and were offered the three Sciences separately -- both the
core and the extended versions. Since the classes were already streamed into these
three categories, academic ability was used as an independent variable to investigate
whether or not it had any significant influence on CS by learners.
The data on the analysis of the dependent variables by the learners’ independent
variables will be dealt with in the same way as was done with the teachers’ data. The
results of the effect of the independent variables on the dependent variables are not
presented in tabular format but only reported on owing to a lack of space.
In addition to subjecting some of the results to statistical tests to confirm their
significance or non-significance, the effect size was also calculated as the learners’
sample was very large. As previously reported in Chapter Four (cf. Section 4.3), the
effect size was calculated to confirm whether the relationship is real or random.
211
6.3 LEARNERS’ EVALUATION OF THEIR COMPETENCE AND THE
TEACHERS’ COMPETENCE IN THE LANGUAGE USE IN CLASS
Table 6.1: Learners’ self-evaluation in proficiency in English use in class (RQ5 ii)
Very well
Language Skills
1. Write tasks
2. Read texts
3. Understand teachers’
explanations of concepts
4. Answer questions in
the examination
5. Answer questions
during the lesson
Well
N
439
993
617
%
20
45
28
N
1435
1078
1249
%
64
48
56
Not that
well
N
%
351 16
153
7
372 17
Total
N
2225
2224
2238
%
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
142
143
129
474
21
1356
61
401
18
2231
100
136
591
27
1211
54
429
19
2231
100
136
The results in Table 6.1 above show that the majority of the learners rated their
proficiency in English as very well or well. Eighty four percent were positive about
their writing skill; 93% about their reading skill; 83% about their comprehension of
explanation of concepts in class; 82% about the way they answer questions in the
examinations; and 81% about the way they answer questions (orally) during the lesson.
The results show that the majority of the learners considered themselves to have
mastered the language skills in English. Because of the unavailability of oral
examinations in either English or Setswana (Nkosana, 2006), the question on
examinations referred to only written examinations. The results also suggest that the
learners’ speaking and understanding skills are not as strong as their writing and
reading skills. This of course, has an effect on the use of CS in the classroom.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results showed that the majority of the learners, irrespective of gender, school
location, form / grade, and academic ability considered themselves fluent in the four
types of language competence: writing, reading, understanding, and speaking.
However, the following results showed that the effect of form / grade and HL on some
of the dependent variables contained in Table 6.1 above were significant: more F 5
212
than F 4 learners considered that they read and wrote well in English as indicated by
the percentages: 85% vs. 79%, and 94% vs. 92% respectively. The results above were
also statistically significant, showing that the relationship between form / grade and the
learners’ opinion of their proficiency in reading and their interpretation and writing
skills during an examination written in English was highly significant (p = 0.004, and p
= 0.001 respectively). Both results had a small effect size (0.07), showing that there
was a small association between the learners’ opinion and the view that they generally
read well in English, and also interpreted and answered examination questions well in
English. Subsequent results with the same effect size should also be interpreted in the
same way. The high statistical significance of the results could have been largely due
to the large sample size. Therefore, in reality, the differences in the learners’
proficiency in reading, interpreting, and answering examinations in English may not be
as highly significant as the results suggest. Conversely, the differences in the learners’
views about the effect of form / grade on the learners’ writing, understanding teachers’
explanation of concepts, and answering questions during the lessons were not that
significant, suggesting that there was not much difference in competence between F 5
and F 4 learners (writing: 85% vs. 83%; understanding explanation of concepts: 88%
vs. 80%; and answering a question orally in class: 81% vs. 81%). The results above
were not statistically significant.
HL also had a significant influence on the learners’ views on their competence in
writing, understanding the explanation of concepts, spoken English in class; and
interpretation and writing of examinations in English. The results showed that,
generally, the majority of the learners, irrespective of their HL, considered themselves
very competent in all four the domains of language. However, more learners whose
HL is English considered themselves to be more competent than the others. The
majority of the other learners whose HL is either Setswana or Ikalanga or ‘Others’
rated their overall competence in English as average, except for 47% of the learners
whose HL is Setswana, and 48% of learners who had more than one HL, and who
stated that they read very well in English. The results are not unexpected in that the
learners for whom English is a HL had a head-start in the acquisition of English. So,
naturally, their competence should be better than that of the other learners. For the
other learners, English was either a second or even a third language that was mainly
learnt and used at school.
213
The results showing the differences in the learners’ responses were statistically
significant. The effect of HL on the learners’ responses to their competence in the
domains of writing and understanding of the explanation of concepts in English was
statistically highly significant (p = 0.006 and p = < 0.0001 respectively). Both results
had a small effect size of (0.08) and (0.06) respectively. In addition, the relationship
between the learners’ HL and their spoken English during the lessons was statistically
significant (p = 0.04) with no effect size, showing that the size of the sample had no
effect on the significance of the results. (Again, subsequent results with no effect size
should be interpreted in the same way). The effect of HL on the learners’ views about
their competence in interpreting and writing examinations in English also had a
tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.06), showing no effect size. The results
are significant, especially the results on the learners’ competence in the domains of
speaking and understanding of English.
The results suggest that the majority of the learners, apart from those whose HL is
English, were likely to CS to Setswana, and their teachers were also likely to CS to
Setswana to facilitate communication in the classroom, which impacts on teaching and
learning. The results on the effect of HL on the learners’ reading proficiency in
English were not statistically significant.
The results of the effect of gender, school location, fluency in speaking English and
academic ability on the learners’ self-evaluation in their competence in all four the
domains of language were not significant. The majority of the learners, irrespective of
these four independent variables, considered themselves to be proficient in English as
they maintained that they wrote, understood, interpreted and answered examinations
questions, and read well in English. The learners’ best domain of language
competence was reading as 63% of the learners fluent in English; 53% of the HA
learners; 47% of the female learners and 50% of the learners at S 1 considered
themselves to be proficient readers in English. However, the differences in the
learners’ responses stated above had no statistical significance. The results suggest
that the majority of the learners, regardless of their gender, school location, fluency in
speaking English and academic ability were less likely to CS to Setswana in class, and
that it was also unnecessary for their teachers to CS in class. These results are
interesting. The researcher will determine if these results are consistent with the
214
findings of the study, including the results from the qualitative data obtained through
observation of the lessons.
Table 6.2: Learners’ views on writing examinations in English (Q5 ii)
Question
Written Communication
1. Any problems writing
examinations in English?
Always
Sometimes
N
67
N
1576
%
3
%
70
None
N
601
%
27
Total
N
2244
%
100
M
Frq
N
123
The results in Table 6.2 above show that the majority of the learners experienced
problems from time to time when writing examinations in English as 73% of them
stated. This is contradictory to what 82% of the learners said in Table 6.1 above that
they interpreted and answered English well during examinations.
As indicated earlier, this study is limited to spoken communication during a lesson.
Therefore it was not possible for the researcher to confirm or refute the assertions
made by the learners regarding their proficiency in written English.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results indicated that effect of form / grade, gender, HL, school location, academic
ability, and fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on the learners’ views
about their experiences when writing examinations in English: 76% of the F 4 learners
and 70% of the F 5 learners; 71% of the male learners and 75% of the female learners
stated that they experienced problems when writing examinations in English. In
addition, the majority of the learners who spoke the following as home languages
stated that they experienced problems when writing examinations in English:
Setswana: 70%; Ikalanga: 77%; Others: 67%; and more than one HL: 75%. However,
63% of the learners for whom English is a HL stated that they did not experience
problems when writing examinations in English. The results were statistically
significant and showed the following:
The relationship between form / grade and the learners’ opinion about their English
proficiency during written examinations was statistically highly significant (p = 0.007),
215
with a small effect size (0.06). This shows that there was a small association between
form and the learners’ opinions: that more F 4 learners (76%) than F 5 learners (70%)
sometimes experienced problems when answering examinations in English. The
results suggest that CS was more likely to occur in the F 4 than in the F 5 classes. The
relationship between gender and the learners’ views was also statistically significant (p
= 0.02) with no effect size, showing that there was a medium association between
gender and the learners’ opinions; that is, more girls than boys sometimes had
problems writing examinations in English. The results suggest that girls were more
likely to experience problems when writing examinations in English than boys.
The results of the relationship between HL and learners’ opinion about the effect on
writing examinations in English were statistically highly significant (p = 0.0003) with
a small effect size (0.08): more learners for whom Setswana, Ikalanga and other
indigenous languages were HLs were more likely to experience problems writing
examinations in English than the learners for whom English was a HL. The results
suggest that even though English was taught in schools and was also the LoLT in all
subjects except Setswana, the majority of the learners still experienced problems with
it. They have not yet fully acquired competence in understanding and writing in
English. The results were consistent with the researcher’s expectations regarding
proficiency in English among learners whose HL was not English.
The results also indicated that the effect of school location, academic ability, and
fluency in speaking English on the learners’ views about the effect of writing
examinations in English were not that significant: the majority of the learners,
irrespective of school location, stated that they experienced problems when writing
examinations in English (S 1: 64%; S 2: 74%; S 3: 74%; and S 4: 82%). The results
suggest that the majority of the learners, regardless of the location of their schools, had
not fully acquired proficiency in English. Although statistically the results appeared
highly significant (p = <.0001), the effect size of 0.11 showed that the high
significance was largely due to the large sample size. Therefore, there was only a
small association between the results and reality. Similarly, although the majority of
the LA (82%), MA (78%), and HA (60%) learners stated that they sometimes
experienced problems when writing examinations in English, the results were
statistically highly significant (p = <.0001) in that more LA and MA than HA learners
216
stated that they experienced problems when writing examinations in English. However,
like the results above, the high significance is due to the sample size as indicated by a
small effect size of 0.14. The same opinion was expressed by both the fluent and the
non-fluent learners in English (57%, and 81% respectively). The difference in their
opinions was also highly significant (p = <.0001) with a medium to large effect size of
0.26, showing that the results were not strongly influenced by sample size: there was a
strong association between learners’ opinions and that they experienced problems
when writing examinations in English. The results suggest that the LA and MA
learners as well as the non-fluent learners were likely to experience problems when
writing examinations in English.
Table 6.3: Learners’ evaluation of teachers’ English proficiency in class (Q5 ii)
VW
Proficiency in English
1. Writes in English
2. Reads English
3. Speaks English when
explaining concepts in class
N
1807
1826
1452
W
%
77
78
62
N
494
448
762
NW
%
21
19
33
N
34
53
123
%
2
2
5
Total
N
2335
2327
2337
%
100
100
100
M
Frq
N
32
40
30
The results in Table 6.3 above show that almost all the learners had positive views
about the teachers’ proficiency in English. However, there were more learners who
said that teachers wrote and read very well in English than those who said that they
expressed themselves very well in spoken English (98% and 97% vs. 95%). The
results imply that the teachers were highly proficient in English. However, their spoken
English was not as good as their writing or reading skills. The same observation was
made by the teachers about the learners’ proficiency in spoken English (cf. Table 5.1).
Therefore, the results may have an effect on CS in the classroom.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results indicate that the majority of the learners, irrespective of school location,
home language, form / grade, academic ability, fluency in speaking English, and
gender considered their teachers to be proficient in English. The results were
significant. However, more learners at peri-urban schools were satisfied with the
217
teachers’ writing and reading proficiency than those at urban schools (writing: 82%
and 80% vs. 72% and 76%; reading: 81% and 83% vs. 74% and 78% respectively).
However, their views about the teachers’ fluency in spoken English were similar at all
four the schools (S 1 and S 2: 61% at each; and S 3: 60% and S 4: 67%). The results
have a significant effect on CS as CS is a mode of oral communication. The
differences in the learners’ responses to the teachers’ explanation of concepts in
English were also statistically significant (p = 0.02), with no effect size. The results
suggest that learners at both urban and peri-urban schools were of the view that,
although their teachers had acquired overall competence in all four the domains of
English, they were not as proficient in speaking as they were in the three other domains
of the English language. The results suggest that teachers were likely to CS in class.
The learners’ views (by HL) were similar to those expressed above: More learners
considered their teachers to be more proficient in English writing and reading than in
speaking. This was more evident from the learners whose HL was either English or
who had more than one HL (56% and 55% respectively) as opposed to 61%; 65%; and
65% for Setswana, Ikalanga and ‘Others’, in that order. The results on the teachers’
spoken English were not statistically significant, but results on the learners’ views
about teachers’ writing proficiency in English were statistically significant (p = 0.01).
The results were as follows: The number of learners for whom English is a HL and
who considered teachers to be proficient in writing was not as high as for learners of
other HLs (67% for English vs. 75% for Setswana; 81% for Ikalanga; 77% for
‘Others’; and 73% for learners with more than one language). This suggests that
learners in the former category, as speakers of English as a HL, were likely to feel that
the proficiency of their teachers in English was not as good as theirs, as the latter were
mainly speakers of English (teachers) as a second or a foreign language. The results
had a small effect size (0.06).
The effect of form / grade on the learners’ views about their teachers’ writing and
speaking was not that significant, but its effect on learners’ views about their teachers’
reading skills was significant. The results were statistically highly significant (p =
0.008), showing that slightly more F 4s (80%) than F 5s (77%) were of the view that
their teachers were fluent readers in English. However, the results had a small effect
size (0.06). Academic ability also had a significant effect on the learners’ views on
218
their teachers’ proficiency in writing and reading in English: more LA and MA than
HA learners stated that their teachers were very proficient in writing and reading (80%,
81% and 82%; 81% respectively vs. 70% and 72%). The results show that there was
no significant difference in the views of the LA and MA learners, but there was a
difference in views between them and the HA learners. The differences in the learners’
responses to the teachers’ writing and reading were statistically highly significant (p =
< 0.0001). However, the small effect size of 0.08 in both cases indicated that the high
statistical significance of the results was strongly influenced by the large sample size.
Therefore, there was only a small association between the results and reality. In
addition, the effect of academic ability on the learners’ views on their teachers’
speaking proficiency when explaining concepts was significant: Almost the same
proportion of LA and MA learners (64% and 65% respectively) stated that the teachers
were fluent in spoken English, but slightly fewer HA learners (57%) held the same
view. The results were statistically significant (p = 0.01), showing that more MA and
LA learners than the HA learners were of the view that their teachers explain concepts
very well in English. The results had no effect size.
The learners’ rate of fluency in speaking English also had an effect on their views on
their teachers’ competence in English. More of the fluent learners and more of the
non-fluent learners were more satisfied with their teachers’ writing and reading
proficiency than with the teachers’ proficiency in spoken English (79%, 77% and 79%,
78% vs. 64%, and 61%). The results on the teachers’ writing and reading proficiency
were not significant but the results on their proficiency in speaking showed a tendency
towards statistical significance (p = 0.08), with no effect size. The results suggest that
teachers were not as proficient in speaking in English as they were in writing and
reading, and were therefore likely to CS in class. Similarly, the majority of both the
male and female learners stated that their teachers’ speaking of English (61: 64) was
not as good as their writing (77: 79) and reading (79: 79) in English. The results
suggest that both boys and girls were satisfied with their teachers’ proficiency in
English. Hence there was no significant difference in the learners’ views in respect of
the three domains of language competence. Therefore, there was no statistical
relationship between gender and the learners’ views.
The results suggest that the majority of the learners, irrespective of all six the
independent variables discussed above, considered their teachers to be proficient in
219
English, but their proficiency was more evident in writing and reading than in
speaking. The results have a significant impact on CS in the classroom, suggesting
that teachers are likely to CS during their lessons.
Table 6.4: Learners’ attitude towards use of CS in class by the teachers (RQ 5 i)
Are you bothered by:
1. Teachers’ CS to Setswana
in a non-Setswana class?
2. Teachers’ CS to English in
a Setswana class?
3. Teachers’ CS to a local
language in class?
Very
much
N
%
521 23
A little
Not at all
Total
N
842
%
38
N
874
%
39
N
2237
%
100
M
Frq
N
130
800
36
670
30
755
34
2225
100
142
607
27
688
31
939
42
2234
100
133
The results in Table 6.4 above show that there were more learners who had positive
views on CS in class than those who were opposed to it. However, more learners
seemed to object CS to English in a Setswana class than CS to either Setswana or a
local language. The results suggest that learners did not see the justification for CS in
a Setswana class since the LoLT was comprehensible to all the learners taking
Setswana lessons. The results also suggest that learners viewed CS as a
communication strategy used where the LoLT, such as English, was not effective.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that all the independent variables (school location, gender, ability,
form / grade, fluency in speaking English, and HL) had an effect on the learners’
responses to the dependent variables contained in Table 6.4 above. However, the
effect of form / grade and HL had no significant effect on the learners’ views about CS
to Setswana. In addition, the former (form / grade) had no significant effect on the
learners’ views about CS to a local language whilst the latter (HL) had no significant
effect on the learners’ views about CS to English in a Setswana class. In this regard,
the aforementioned results were not statistically significant. Other independent
variables (school location, gender, academic ability and fluency in speaking English)
had a significant effect on the learners’ views about CS to Setswana; to English in a
220
Setswana class; and to a local language. The aforementioned results were statistically
significant.
For instance, whilst CS to Setswana was not a problematic issue at S 1 and S 2 (urban
schools), it was somehow an issue at S 3 and S 4 (peri-urban schools). At the former,
47% and 40% of the learners were not at all bothered by the practice, but at the latter –
the peri-urban schools -- 39% at each school were somehow bothered. The results
suggest that Setswana as the HL for the majority of the learners at urban schools (S 1:
53%; S 2: 49%) was more acceptable in the classroom than at peri-urban schools
where Ikalanga was the HL of the majority of the learners (S 3: 53%; S 4: 74%).
Whilst the learners at the two urban schools did not object to teachers CS to English,
those at the two peri-urban schools objected (S 1: 40%; S 2: 36% vs. S 3: 42%; S 4:
44%). The results suggest that CS to English was more likely to occur during
Setswana classes at urban schools than at peri-urban schools). Only learners at one
peri-urban school (S 4) were concerned about the teachers’ CS to a local language as
indicated by 48% of the learners, but at the other three schools (S 1: 48%; S 2; 44%;
and S 3: 41%) CS to a local language was not a problematic issue. The results were
unexpected in that learners at the two urban schools were expected to be opposed to
CS to a local language, and those at S 3 (peri-urban school) to be in support of it as
well as those at S 4 (peri-urban school), as the majority of the learners at S 1 and S 2
spoke Setswana as a HL, but the majority of the learners at S 3 and S 4 spoke a local
language (Ikalanga) as HL, as stated above. The above results were all statistically
highly significant (p = < 0.0001). However, the effect size of 0.11 (for CS to
Setswana), 0.13 (for CS to English) and 0.09 (for CS to a local language) shows that
the high significance was strongly influenced by the large sample size. In reality,
therefore, there was a small association between the learners’ views about CS in all
three the scenarios.
The results also show that both boys and girls were not bothered by CS to Setswana.
However, more boys than girls were not bothered by the practice (42% vs. 37%). The
results suggest that boys were more likely to CS to Setswana than girls, as observed
earlier by teachers that boys CS more than girls (cf. Table 5.6). Whilst girls said they
were very much bothered by the teachers’ CS to English in a Setswana class, almost
the same proportion of boys said that they were not (37% vs. 38%). Both boys and
221
girls did not support CS to a local language (46%; 39%). The results suggest that more
boys than girls were likely to CS to either English or Setswana, and that both groups of
learners were less likely to CS to a local language. The results above were also
statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001). However, the small effect size of 0.08
for CS to Setswana, and 0.07 for CS to English or to a local language showed that the
sample size influenced the significance of the results.
The results of the effect of academic ability on the learners’ views on CS were
significant: the majority of HA learners were not bothered by the teachers’ CS; be it to
Setswana (47%); or to English (43%); or to a local language (54%). The results
suggest that HA learners were indifferent to CS use; and were of the opinion that CS
did not have any bearing on their learning. More MA learners were not bothered by
CS to Setswana or to a local language (38%, and 39% respectively), but had strong
objections to CS to English as 40% of them indicated. This suggests that MA learners
did not see the need for the teacher to CS to English since the majority of the learners
were not proficient in it. LA learners strongly objected to CS to English or to a local
language as indicated by 42% and 35% respectively; but not so much by CS to
Setswana (42%; 35%; vs. 43%). The results suggest that LA learners only viewed CS
to Setswana as educationally beneficial, but found CS to English in a Setswana class
unnecessary, and CS to a local language unacceptable as none of the local languages
was used in education except Setswana. The differences in the learners’ views on CS
in all three the cases were highly significant (p = < 0.0001), with a small effect size of
0.09, 0.12 and 0.13 in each case.
The views of both the fluent and the non-fluent learners were similar on the teachers’
CS to Setswana and to a local language, but they differed from one another about the
teachers’ CS to English in a Setswana class. In the former (teachers’ CS to Setswana
and to a local language), 39% of both the fluent and the non-fluent learners stated that
they had no objection, but in the latter (teachers’ CS to English), 42% of the fluent
learners stated that they did not object but 39% of the non-fluent said they had strong
objections. The results were not unexpected in that the learners who were less fluent in
English were expected to welcome CS to Setswana or to a local language. The results
suggest that fluent learners were indifferent to CS, and did not consider its use to have
any effect on their learning. However, the non-fluent learners found CS to Setswana or
222
to a local language educationally beneficial. Therefore, they were more likely to CS
either to Setswana or to a local language in class than the fluent learners. Statistically,
the relationship between fluency in speaking English and the learners’ views on their
teachers’ CS in a non-Setswana class, and CS to English in a Setswana class was
highly significant (p = 0.009) and (p = < 0.0001) respectively. However, the small
effect size of 0.06 and 0.11 respectively showed that the large sample size strongly
influenced the results. Furthermore, the relationship between learners’ fluency in
speaking English and their teachers’ CS to a local language had a tendency towards
statistical significance (p = 0.07), with no effect size. This indicates that there was no
association between the learners’ responses and reality.
The results also showed that the views of both the F 4 and F 5 learners were similar:
almost the same number of each said that they did not object to CS to Setswana (40%;
38%), and the same number of each group also did not object to CS to a local language
(42%). However, their views differed on CS to English, as 36% of the F 4s had no
objection but 37% of the F 5s had strong objections. The former results were not
significant, but the latter were significant. The F 5 learners, as the most senior learners
who were about to complete their high school education, were expected to be more
fluent in English than their junior counterparts (F 4s) and to be opposed to CS. The
results suggest that the F 5 learners viewed CS from English to Setswana or even to a
local language as a strategy used to address the difficulties encountered in
communication as a result of the learners’ lack of proficiency in English. Their
objection to CS to English suggests that they found the use of English unnecessary as
all the learners in a Setswana class had some degree of competence in Setswana.
However, this may not be the case as, on the one hand, a significant number of the
learners (57.68%) did not have Setswana as a HL, suggesting that their competence in
Setswana may not be that good. On the other hand, the F 4 learners found CS
educationally beneficial, hence their general support of it. The effect of form / grade
on the learners’ views about CS to English in a Setswana class was statistically
significant (p = 0.03), with no effect size.
Although HL appeared to have an influence on the learners’ views on CS in class, the
results of the learners’ views on CS to Setswana or to English were not significant, and
consequently had no statistical significance. However, the learners’ views about CS to
223
a local language were significant, hence the results had a tendency towards statistical
significance (p = 0.08), with no effect size: Almost the same number of the learners
with differentHLs (Setswana: 44%; Ikalanga: 40%; ‘Others’: 45%; and learners with
more than one HL: 45%) had no objection to CS to a local language, except the
learners for whom English was a HL (53%) who stated they were a little bothered by
the practice. The results suggest that CS was generally accepted in the classroom,
irrespective of the learners’ HL, as there were more learners who did not object to it,
including learners for whom HL was English who partially objected to it. The results
above show that there was no strong objection to CS, irrespective of the learners’
gender, academic ability, HL, fluency in speaking English, the form / grade, and the
location of their school (urban or peri-urban).
The learners were further asked, according to gender, about their views on the
teachers’ language use in class. Their responses were as follows:
Table 6.5: Learners’ views on teachers’ language use in class by gender (RQ 5 ii)
Male
Language use
1. Use Setswana in a nonSetswana class.
2. Use English in a Setswana
Class.
3. Express themselves well
in spoken English.
Female
N
537
%
25
N
457
%
21
Both
(M&F)
N
%
1162 54
Total
M Frq
487
25
634
32
842
43
1963
100
404
628
29
352
16
1171
54
2152
100
215
N
2156
%
100
N
211
The results in Table 6.5 above show that learners generally agreed that teachers,
irrespective of gender, CS to Setswana in the lessons of the subjects taught in English
(54%); CS to English during Setswana lessons (43%); and express themselves well in
spoken English (54%). However, looking at the two groups individually, more male
teachers than the female teachers CS to Setswana; yet more male teachers than their
female counterparts express themselves well in spoken English. During Setswana
classes, more female teachers than the male teachers CS to English. The results also
showed that there was more CS to Setswana than to English.
The results suggest the following: the male teachers do not CS to Setswana due to a
lack of fluency in English, but it could be so in the case of the female teachers. CS to
224
Setswana is more likely to occur during the lessons taught by the male teachers, and
CS to English is more likely to occur during the lessons taught by the female teachers;
so CS occurs in the classroom, irrespective of the LoLT used (English or Setswana);
and both the male and female teachers use it. It should however, be noted that out of
the 25 teachers of Setswana, only three were male. Furthermore, CS was more likely
to occur during the lessons of subjects taught in English than during Setswana lessons.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The majority of the learners, irrespective of gender, school location, form / grade,
academic ability, and fluency in speaking English, were of the view that both the male
and female teachers CS to Setswana in a class taught in English; and that Setswana
teachers (both male and female) CS to English in class. The results also show that the
majority of the teachers, irrespective of gender, were fluent in English. The results
suggest that CS is prevalent in the classroom irrespective of the teacher’s gender, but
that the teachers’ CS to Setswana does not imply a lack of proficiency in English as
Setswana teachers also CS to English. CS is an attempt to facilitate communication in
the classroom.
The results also showed that the following independent variables had a significant
effect on the learners’ views about the dependent variables stated in Table 6.5 above.
Hence the results were statistically significant: Form / grade had a significant effect on
the learners’ views about the teachers’ CS to Setswana in a lesson taught in ‘English’.
Both the F 4 (56%) and F 5 (52%) learners stated that their teachers CS to Setswana in
class. This suggests that teachers CS to Setswana regardless of the level of class they
teach. The results showed a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.08), with
no effect size. Although both boys and girls said their teachers CS to English during
Setswana lessons, more girls (46%) than boys (39%) stated that Setswana teachers,
regardless of gender, CS from Setswana to English in class. The results were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.008). However, the small effect size (0.07) shows
that there is very little association between the learners’ opinions and the view that
Setswana teachers CS to English during the lesson, and that the high significance of the
results was mainly due to the large sample size.
225
The statistical test results showed that the relationship between school location and the
learners’ views about Setswana teachers’ CS to English in class was statistically
significant (p = 0.01): almost the same proportion of learners at each school were of
the view that both the male and female teachers of Setswana CS to English in class (S
1: 54%; S 2: 56%; S 3: 54%; S 4: 50%). The results suggest that CS to English was
common in schools regardless of their location. A small effect size (0.12) showed that
there was a less notable association between the learners’ views and the view
expressed above. In addition, both the Form F 4s (46%) and the F 5s (40%) stated that
their teachers CS to Setswana in class. The results on the learners’ views about the
teachers’ CS to English were statistically significant (p = 0.02); with a small effect size
(0.06).
Furthermore, almost the same number of learners with different academic abilities
(LA: 46%, MA: 41%, HA: 43%) agreed that Setswana teachers CS to English in class,
and the results were statistically significant (p = 0.04); with no effect size. This
suggests that Setswana teachers use similar forms of delivering lessons across the
classes of different ability levels. This is based on the fact that 92% of the teachers
teach at F 4 and F 5 levels. This observation is interesting given that during the lessons
of subjects taught in ‘English’, CS is used to overcome the communication barrier
caused by the learners’ lack of fluency in English; but in a Setswana class, it appears
that the motive is different. This observation will be discussed further in Chapter
Seven when the qualitative results of the study are discussed. The results also showed
that Setswana teachers, irrespective of gender, CS to English, as learners with different
HLs stated: Setswana (42%), Ikalanga (43%), English (53%), ‘Others’ (45%) as well
as learners with more than one HL (45%). The results were statistically highly
significant (p = 0.003), with a small effect size (0.06).
Furthermore, the results on the effect of gender, school location, form / grade,
academic ability, fluency in speaking English, and HL on the learners’ views on the
teachers’ fluency in spoken English were significant: Slightly more girls than boys said
both the male and female teachers were fluent in spoken English (58% vs. 50%).
Almost the same proportion of learners at each of the four schools said teachers were
fluent in spoken English, irrespective of gender (S 1: 50%; S 2: 55%; S 3: 56%; S 4:
58%). Slightly more F4s than F5s said both the male and female teachers were fluent
226
in spoken English (F 4: 58%, F 5: 50%). Almost the same proportion of learners (LA:
58%; MA: 51%; and HA: 56%) held the same view that teachers, regardless of their
gender, were fluent in spoken English. Slightly more of the non-fluent learners than
the fluent learners stated that both the male and female teachers were fluent in spoken
English (57% vs. 50%). Although learners, irrespective of HL, stated that teachers
were fluent in spoken English, the number of the learners whose HL is English who
held the same view was slightly lower than the numbers of learners of other home
languages (English: 47% vs. Setswana: 50%; Ikalanga: 57%; ‘Others’: 56%; and the
learners with more than one HL: 58%).
The results above suggest that teachers at both urban and peri-urban schools, both male
and female, teaching both F 4 and F 5 classes of learners with different home
languages, fluent and non-fluent in English, and with different academic abilities, were
fluent in English. The results on the effect of gender, school location and academic
ability were highly significant (p = < 0.0001), as well as form / grade (p = 0.0004).
The results suggested that the relationship between the above said independent
variables and the view that teachers were fluent in spoken English was of high
significance. However, a small effect sizes ranging from 0.07-0.09 showed that the
large sample size strongly influenced the results. Similarly, the effect of fluency in
spoken English and HL on the learners’ views were statistically significant (p = 0.01)
and (p = 0.03) each with a small effect size of 0.06 also showing a strong influence of
the sample size.
The results of the influence of gender, school location, academic ability, fluency in
speaking English and HL on the learners’ views about teachers’ CS to Setswana during
the lessons of subjects taught in ‘English’ were not statistically significant. The results
of the effect of fluency in speaking English on the learners’ views on CS to English
also had no statistical significance.
227
Table 6.6: Learners’ views on teachers’ language use in class (by subject) (RQ 5 ii)
English
Language use
1. Mix languages
when speaking in
class
2. Use Setswana
in a non-Setswana
class
3. Express them
well in spoken
English
4. Express them
well in spoken
Setswana.
Setswana
Both
(E and S)
N
%
1116 47
N
146
%
6
N
58
%
3
836
35
*
*
*
452
19
12
0.51
12
0.51
630
27
History
HE
Biology
N
119
%
48
N
36
% N
25 981
%
41
*
67
27
34
24
953
40
815
34
120
49
38
27
875
37
1176
50
38
15
15
11
322
14
NB: * Not applicable
The results in Table 6.6 above show that the majority of the learners were of the view
that the History teachers and the language teachers (English and Setswana) CS more
than the teachers of the other subjects. However, looking at the subjects individually,
the least CS occurs in a Setswana class (3%) and in the English class (6%). Regarding
CS in an English class, it may occur from time to time due to the proficiency problem
that both the teachers and learners confirmed the latter (learners) have with English (cf.
Tables 5.1 and 6.1); but its occurrence was not as frequent as in the other subjects
taught in English.
With respect to spoken English, the majority of the learners (49%) said History
teachers were the most fluent; while the least were the Setswana teachers at 0.51%.
The observation made regarding Setswana teachers is expected given that these
teachers mainly teach in Setswana and are expected also to use Setswana as the LoLT.
However, the observation made regarding English teachers’ proficiency in English
suggests that their level of competence in English varied from teacher to teacher. With
respect to spoken Setswana, the majority of the learners (50%) said the language
teachers were fluent, especially Setswana teachers. This is not unexpected, given that
Setswana teachers are expected to be fluent in Setswana, and that the majority of the
teachers considered themselves to be proficient in it as the national language (cf. Table
4.6 in Chapter Four). The results suggest that CS occurs across all the subjects; but
228
that it occurs less during Setswana lessons. While it occurs during English lessons, it
is not at the same rate as it is in the lessons of the content subjects. The results also
indicate that the History teachers are the most proficient in English; and that the
language teachers are the most proficient in Setswana (mainly Setswana teachers).
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that the majority of the learners, irrespective of form / grade,
academic ability, school location, gender, fluency in speaking English, and HL, shared
the view that the language teachers (English and Setswana) were fluent in the
respective subjects they teach; that the History teachers were the most fluent in
English, followed by English teachers; that teachers of subjects taught in ‘English’ CS
in class, but Biology teachers CS to Setswana the most. All the aforementioned
independent variables, except gender, had a significant effect on some of the dependent
variables. Only academic ability had a significant effect on the learners’ views about
teachers’ CS to Setswana during lessons of subjects taught in ‘English’. The results
showed that the LA and the MA learners said Biology teachers CS more to Setswana
than the other teachers; but the HA learners said it was the English teachers who CS
more -- LA (41%) and MA (41%) vs. HA (41%). The results suggest that HA learners
did not expect the teachers of language subjects to CS in class by virtue of the mandate
bestowed upon them to promote fluency in the respective languages they teach. The
differences in the learners’ views were statistically highly significant (p = 0.0003),
with a small effect size of 0.06.
Academic ability and fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on the
learners’ views about the History teachers’ fluency in English. More LA learners than
the MA and HA learners considered the History teachers to be more fluent than other
teachers (76% vs. 53%; and 57% respectively). The differences in the learners’ views
about the History teachers’ fluency in English were statistically highly significant (p =
0.0005), with an effect size of 0.24. The results show that there was medium of
association between the learners’ opinion and the view that the History teachers were
the most fluent in spoken English. The results suggest that the History teachers’ CS
was not due to a lack of fluency in spoken English. Academic ability had no
significant effect on the learners’ views about English (Land L) teachers’ fluency in
229
English as the differences in the learners’ views were not significant (LA: 53%, MA:
52%, HA: 57%). Consequently, the results had no statistical significance.
Fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on the learners’ views about the
History and the English (L and L) teachers’ fluency in spoken English. Both the fluent
and the non-fluent learners (61% and 43% respectively) stated that the History teachers
were the most fluent in spoken English followed by the English (L and L) teachers
(59% and 52% respectively). Both results had statistical significance. The statistical
results for the former was p = 0.01, with no effect size. The results for the latter were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.006), with a small effect size of 0.07. Similarly,
HL had a significant effect on the learners’ views about the English (L and L) teachers’
fluency in spoken English. The results were as follows: Setswana: 41%; Ikalanga:
31%; English: 50%; Others: 39%; and more than one language: 37%. The results
suggest that the English (L and L) teachers were not as fluent in spoken English as they
were expected to be. The differences in the learners’ views were statistically highly
significant (p = 0.004), with a small effect size of 0.06.
The results also showed that form / grade, academic ability, school location, fluency in
speaking English and HL had a significant effect on the learners’ views on the
teachers’ fluency in spoken Setswana. The majority of the learners, irrespective of all
the above independent variables, considered Setswana teachers the most fluent in
spoken Setswana: F 4 and F 5 learners (81% of each), LA: 75%, MA: 77% and HA:
78%), at both urban and peri-urban schools (S 1: 72%; S 2: 78%; S 3: 80%; and S 4:
77%), the fluent and the non-fluent learners (54% and 47% respectively), and learners
with different HLs (Setswana: 75%; Ikalanga: 48%; English: 56%; ‘Others’: 56%; and
those with more than one HL: 52%). The results were statistically significant, showing
that the relationship between the aforementioned independent variables and the
learners’ views on Setswana teachers’ proficiency was of varied statistical
significance: Form / grade (p = 0.09) and Fluency in speaking English (p = 0.06) – the
results showed that there was significant tendency of relationship between these
variables and the learners’views. The former had no effect size; the latter had a small
effect size (0.06). Academic ability (p = 0.002) and school location (p = 0.002) – the
results were statistically highly significant. Both results had a small effect size (0.07
and (0.08) respectively. HL (p = 0.04) -- the results were statistically significant
230
without an effect size. The results suggest that Setswana teachers’ fluency in spoken
Setswana was unquestionable, therefore their CS to English in class was not due to a
lack of proficiency in Setswana. The results are significant and they will be further
discussed in Chapters Seven and Eight. Other results had no statistical significance.
6.4 LEARNERS’ VIEWS ON THE EFFECT OF CS ON THE LIEP OF
BOTSWANA
Table 6.7: Learners’ views on the revision of the LiEP (RQ 5 iii)
Agree
LoLT
1. Setswana should be used
for T and L in primary schools.
2. Setswana should be used
with English from primary to
university levels.
3. Other local languages should
be used for T and L.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
1737
%
83
N
240
%
11
N
118
%
6
N
2095
%
100
M
Frq
N
272
1281
61
473
22
350
17
2104
100
263
722
35
1170
56
190
9
2082
100
285
The results in Table 6.7 above show that the majority of the learners had positive views
about the use of Setswana in education: they supported that it be used for teaching and
learning at all the levels of education alongside English; an even higher majority
supported its specific use at primary schools. However, they disapproved of the use of
other local languages in T and L (61%, 83% vs. 56%). The results suggest that the
majority of the learners are likely to CS to Setswana, but they are less likely to CS to
other local languages.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The majority of the learners, irrespective of school location, gender, HL, ability,
form / grade, and fluency in speaking English, agreed that Setswana should be used for
T and L at primary schools; and that it should also be used alongside English at all the
levels of education. However, they disagreed with the view that other local languages
should also be used for T and L. The results suggest that learners recognized the
importance of Setswana in education especially at the lower levels. The results of the
dependent variables were not tested for statistical significance because they only had
231
an implicit relevance to the main subject of the study, viz. the role of CS in teaching
and learning.
Table 6.8: Learners’ views on relationship between CS and English proficiency (RQ 3)
CS vs. English proficiency
1. Teachers’ CS to Setswana
may be due to inability to
express oneself well in
English.
2. Learners’ CS may be due
to inability to express oneself
well in English.
Agree
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
869
%
41
N
762
%
36
N
495
%
23
N
2126
%
100
M
Frq
N
241
1316
63
403
19
374
18
2093
100
274
The results in Table 6.8 above show that there were more learners who were of the
view that the teachers’ and learners’ CS to Setswana in a class taught in English was
due to a lack of fluency in English. The opinion on the learners’ CS was very clear -that learners CS to overcome a language problem -- but it was not so clear regarding
the use of CS by the teachers. There was an insignificant difference between those
who said that the teachers CS because they could not express themselves well in
English and those who did not think so (41% vs. 36%). In addition, 23% of the
learners were not sure why the teachers CS to Setswana in class. Earlier (cf. Table 6.3
above) nearly all the learners said the teachers were fluent in spoken English (95%).
This suggests that the former refers to the teachers’ BICS and the latter refers to the
teachers’ CALP.
The results suggest that some teachers were not proficient in spoken English, hence
their CS in class, even though the majority CS mainly to assist the learners to
understand the lesson. The results also suggest that because learners could not express
themselves well in English, they CS to Setswana to overcome the language problem.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The majority of the learners, irrespective of form / grade, fluency in speaking English,
HL, gender, academic ability, and school location shared the view that the teachers’
and learners’ CS was due to a lack of fluency in English. However, the number of the
learners who said so about the teachers was not as high as the number in the learners’
case. Form / grade, academic ability and fluency in speaking English had a significant
232
effect on the learners’ views on the dependent variables contained in Table 6.8 above,
but gender, school location and HL did not.
The results of the effect of form / grade on the learners’ opinion on the view that
teachers’ CS may be due to a lack of fluency in English were significant: 44% of F 5
learners agreed with this view, but the view of F 4 learners was not so clear. The
number who agreed with this view was the same as that whom disagreed (38%). The
results suggest that some teachers (although in the minority) were not fluent in English,
hence their CS to Setswana in class. The results were statistically significant (p =
0.01), with no effect size. Form had no significant effect on the learners’ view that
learners’ CS was due to a lack of fluency in English, and the results had no statistical
significance: Both (F 4: 62%, F 5: 64%) agreed that learners’ CS was due to an
inability to express themselves in English. In addition, academic ability had a
significant effect on the learners’ views on their CS in class. More HA learners (68%)
than the MA (64%) and LA (55%) learners were of the view that learners CS to
Setswana because they were unable to express themselves well in English. The results
suggest that learners acknowledged that they lacked competence in spoken English.
The results were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001), with a small effect size
of 0.07. Academic ability did not show any significant effect on the learners’ opinion
regarding the teachers’ CS. Almost the same number of learners in all three the
categories of academic ability agreed that the teachers’ CS may be due to a lack of
fluency in English (LA: 38%; MA: 40%; HA: 44%). The differences in the learners’
views were not statistically significant.
Fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on the learners’ views about the
teachers’ CS to Setswana; and the differences in the learners’ views were statistically
significant (p = 0.01), with a small effect size (0.06): 45% of the fluent learners agreed
with this view but the views of the non-fluent learners were not clear: 36% disagreed
with the view but 35% agreed. Forty-five percent of the learners did not offer their
views. The results suggest that teachers CS in class. However, the low rate of learners
who ascribed CS use to the teachers’ lack of fluency in English suggests that generally,
learners considered their teachers to be fluent in English as they had previously stated.
Fluency in speaking English had no significant effect on the learners’ views on their
CS to Setswana. Hence the results were not statistically significant. Almost the same
233
number of the fluent and non-fluent learners agreed that the learners’ CS was due to
inability to express themselves in English (66% vs. 62%). Gender, school location,
and HL had no significant effect on the learners’ views, so the results were not
statistically significant.
Table 6.9: Didactic consequences of CS in a non-Setswana class (RQ 4 i)
Agree
1. I follow the lesson better
when a teacher explains
certain concepts in English.
2. We generally participate
more when we are allowed
to use Setswana.
3. CS in group discussions
increases participation.
4. CS does not help learners
to improve their English.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
M
Frq
N
%
1415 67
N
484
%
23
N
221
%
10
N
2120
%
100
N
247
1417
67
520
25
178
8
2115
100
252
1548
74
352
17
187
9
2087
100
280
799
39
1011
49
264
13
2074
100
293
The results in Table 6.9 above show that the majority of the learners viewed CS use in
class as positive; that CS improved the understanding of their lessons, increased group
and class discussion and, above all, had no adverse effect on their acquisition of
English proficiency. The latter was disputed by some learners, though fewer, namely
39%.
The results suggest that, in the learners’ view, CS to Setswana had positive educational
results, and that it does not have a negative impact on the acquisition of proficiency in
English. However, some learners, although in the minority, viewed CS negatively
from the point of view of language development. The results therefore suggest that
there were more learners who were likely to CS to Setswana in class than those who
were not.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results show that the majority of the learners, irrespective of gender, school
location, form / grade, academic ability, fluency in speaking English and HL (in some
cases), shared the views that CS had positive effects on learning, improved the
understanding of concepts, increased class and group participation; and did not
234
negatively affect the learners’ acquisition of English proficiency. However, gender,
school location, form / grade, academic ability, and HL had a significant effect on the
learners’ views on some of the dependent variables contained in Table 6.9 above. The
results on the effect of gender showed that more girls than boys agreed that CS
enhanced their participation in group discussions (F: 76%; M: 72%) as well as in class
discussions (F: 69%; M: 64%). The results suggest that more girls than boys were
likely to CS to Setswana in class or group discussions. The differences in learners’
views on the two views above were statistically significant. The results of the former
(group discussions) were statistically significant (p = 0.01), and the results of the latter
(class discussions) were statistically highly significant (p = 0.009). Both results were
without effect size. There was no significant difference in the learners’ views on their
ability to follow a lesson when a teacher code-switched (67% of both the boys and the
girls agreed that CS enhances lesson comprehension) and about the effect of CS on
English proficiency (M: 50%; F: 48%). Consequently, the aforementioned results had
no statistical significance.
School location had a significant effect on learners’ views on the effect of using CS
regarding their acquisition of competence in English. Although more learners,
irrespective of school location, disagreed with the view that CS negatively affected the
acquisition of English proficiency, more learners in peri-urban areas than in urban
areas disagreed (S 3: 55%; S 4: 50% vs. S 1: 47%; S 2: 44%). The results suggest that
more learners in peri-urban than in urban schools considered CS beneficial. Therefore
they were more likely to use it than learners in urban schools. The results were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.004), with a small effect size (0.07), showing that
there was a nominal relationship between the learners’ opinion and the views
expressed above. The differences in the learners’ views on the effect of school
location on the other dependent variables had no statistical significance.
Form / grade had a significant effect on learners’ views on all the dependent variables
contained in Table 6.9 above, except the view that learners’ participation in group
discussions was enhanced by CS: more F 4s than F 5s agreed that they followed a
lesson better if certain concepts were explained in Setswana, and also participated
more in class if they were allowed to CS in class (69% vs. 64% and 69% vs. 64%
respectively). The results suggest that more F 4 learners than F 5 learners were likely
235
to CS in class. Both results were respectively statistically significant (p = 0.02) and (p
= 0.01), but had no effect size. In addition, more F 4s than F 5s disagreed that CS
negatively affected learners’ competence in English (52% vs. 45%). The differences in
the learners views were statistically highly significant (p = 0.008), with a rather small
effect size (0.06). However, the differences in the learners’ views on the effect of CS
on their participation in group discussions were not statistically significant.
Academic ability had a significant influence on the learners’ views on the effect of CS
on comprehending lessons and the explaining of certain concepts. More LA and MA
learners than HA learners agreed that CS enhanced their understanding of the lessons,
especially when concepts were explained (74%, 70% vs. 58%). The results suggest
that more LA and MA learners than HA learners found CS educationally beneficial.
Therefore, LA and MA learners were more likely to CS in class than the HA learners.
There was no significant difference in the learners’ views on the use of CS to enhance
learner participation in group and class discussions, and that it did not negatively affect
learners’ acquisition of English competence (cf. Tables 6.9 d). The aforementioned
results were not statistically significant.
HL had a significant effect on learners’ views on the effect of CS in the classroom: the
views of learners for whom English is a HL were in contrast with the views of the
majority of the other learners:
ƒ
The majority of the learners (Setswana: 74%; Ikalanga: 76%; Others: 74%; and
learners with more than one HL: 77%) stated that they followed the lesson
better if the teacher CS to Setswana, but the learners for whom HL is English
(71%) disagreed. The differences in learners’ views were statistically highly
significant (p = 0.002), with a small effect size (0.09).
ƒ
The learners whose HL is English disagreed with the view that CS increased
class participation, but other learners agreed with this view (English: 53% vs.
Setswana: 76%; Ikalanga: 72%; Others: 76%; and more than one HL: 69%).
The differences in opinion between learners whose HL is English and those of
the other learners were also statistically significant (p = 0.02), with a small
effect size (0.07).
236
ƒ
The opinions of learners for whom English is the HL were also evenly divided
on the benefits of the use of CS during group discussions: 50% agreed that it
enhanced participation; and the other 50% disagreed). However, other learners
agreed that CS increased participation during group discussions (Setswana:
83%; Ikalanga: 81%; Others: 80%; more than one HL: 80%). The results
above were statistically significant (p = 0.04), with a small effect size (0.07).
ƒ
The learners whose HL is English also held a contrary view on the effect of CS
on learners’ acquisition of English proficiency, but others felt that CS did not
have a negative effect on English proficiency (English: 56% vs. Setswana:
47%; Ikalanga: 50%; Others: 46%; more than one HL: 51%). However, the
differences in the learners’ views were not statistically significant.
The results suggest that the majority of the learners, except those learners for whom
English is a HL, found CS to Setswana pedagogically beneficial. Therefore, the
former (learners whose HL is either Setswana, Ikalanga, Others, and those with more
than one HL were more likely to CS to Setswana in class than the latter (learners
whose HL is English). The results were not unexpected in that the latter (learners for
whom English is a HL) may not speak or understand Setswana.
Fluency in speaking English also had a significant effect on learners’ views on the
dependent variables contained in Table 6.9 above: More non-fluent learners than
fluent learners agreed that it was easier for them to follow a lesson if CS was used
(81% vs. 62%). They participated more in group and general class discussions if they
were allowed to CS to Setswana. The results suggest that non-fluent learners (more so
than the fluent learners) found CS educationally beneficial. The differences in the
learners’ views were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001), with no effect size.
Fluency in speaking English had no significant effect on the learners’ views on the
effect of CS on English proficiency among learners. Therefore the results had no
statistical significance.
237
Table 6.10: Learners’ views on the effect of CS use in class on non-Setswana speaking
learners (RQ 4 iv)
Agree
CS in class
It is improper to CS to
Setswana in a class of
non-Setswana speakers.
N
1353
%
65
Disagree
Not Sure
N
477
N
257
%
23
%
12
Total
N
2087
%
100
M
Frq
N
280
The results in Table 6.10 above show that the majority of the learners (65%) did not
support the use of CS in a class that had learners who were non-Setswana speakers.
The responses to this question are interesting, given that nearly all learners in the study
were citizens of Botswana (99.3%) or 2 239 learners, while non-citizens accounted for
only 0.67% or 15 learners. The results show that despite what the respondents (both
teachers and learners) say about CS, the majority of the learners were mindful that the
educational benefits they accrued from its use may not benefit their other classmates
who did not fully understand Setswana.
Influence of independent variables on the dependent variables
The results showed that the majority of the teachers, irrespective of academic ability,
HL, gender, form / grade, school location, and fluency in speaking English, shared the
view that it was not fair for the teacher to CS to Setswana in a class in which some of
the learners did not fully understand Setswana. The results of the effect of these
independent variables, except academic ability, were not significant. Consequently,
the differences in learners’ views were not statistically significant. Academic ability
had a significant effect on the learners’ views on the dependent variable expressed
above: more HA and MA learners than LA learners agreed that CS to Setswana should
not be used in a class with learners who did not fully understand Setswana (HA: 70%,
MA: 65%, vs. LA: 59%). The results suggest that HA and MA learners disapproved of
teachers’ CS and found it discriminatory to learners who did not fully understand
Setswana, but LA learners were not as concerned as the former, suggesting that they
found CS educationally beneficial. The differences in learners’ views were statistically
highly significant (p = 0.006), with a small effect size (0.06).
238
Table 6.11: Reasons for learners’ CS use in the classroom (RQ 4 ii)
1. Ask a question
2. Answer a question
3. Summarize a lesson
4. Discuss class tasks
5. All of the above
6. None of the above
%
42
27
17
32
12
40
NB: Excludes Setswana lessons
The results in Table 6.11 above show that the learners were allowed to CS to Setswana
in class to perform different educational tasks, but in varying degrees. The most
common task was to ask a question, followed by a discussion of class tasks, and to
answer a question. The least performed task was a summary of the lesson. The results
indicate a prevalence of CS in the classroom even though 40% of the learners said that
it was not used, and only a few (12%) admitted that they were allowed to CS all the
time. The results suggest that the learners were allowed to CS from time to time
during a lesson, depending on the task at hand, even though not all the teachers
allowed CS during their lessons.
The results also show that the teachers discouraged the learners from CS yet they
themselves CS freely as indicated in Table 5.11 (cf. Chapter 5). This suggests that they
believed that CS had instructional benefits but had a negative impact on language
development.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that the majority of the learners, irrespective of school location,
gender, form, academic ability, fluency in speaking English, and HL, admitted that
they were allowed to CS in class but to varying degrees. They CS mainly to ask a
question, discuss class tasks, and to answer a question. All the independent variables,
except HL, had a significant effect on some of the learners’ responses. The results
showed that there was more CS at peri-urban schools than at urban schools as more
learners at the latter than at the former stated that they were not allowed to CS (S 1:
45%, S 2: 46% vs. S 3: 35%; S 4: 39%). The results were statistically highly
239
significant (p = 0.0009), but with no effect size. Furthermore, more learners at periurban than at urban schools stated that they were allowed to CS to:
ƒ
ask a question (S 3: 53%, S 4: 46% vs. S 1: 37%, S 4: 40%): p = < 0.0001;
ƒ
answer a question (S 3: 34%, S 4: 26% vs. S 1 and S2: 26%): p = 0.01, with a
small effect size (0.07);
ƒ
discuss class tasks (S 3: 38%, S 4: 35% vs. S 1: 29%, S 2: 30%): p = 0.0002
summarize a lesson (S 3 and S 4: 21% vs. S 1:11%, S 2: 18%): p = < 0.0001
(very few learners in both school locations), and
ƒ
perform all class functions - although very few in both cases: (S 3: 14%, S 4:
16% vs. S 1: 8%, S 2: 16%): p = 0.0009.
As indicated above, the differences in learners’ responses were statistically highly
significant in all cases above (without effect size), except for answering a question.
The results suggest that CS was more likely to occur in classes at peri-urban than at
urban schools. This suggests that lack of a proficiency in English may be more of a
problem among learners at peri-urban schools than at urban schools.
Gender had a significant effect on learners’ responses to the views that they were
allowed to CS when asking a question and discussing class tasks. More boys than girls
said that they were allowed to CS when asking a question (M: 47% vs. F: 42%) and
when summarizing a lesson (M: 19% vs. F: 16%) respectively. In addition, almost the
same number of both boys and girls stated that they were allowed to CS for different
purposes in class. The results suggest that CS was prevalent in class and that boys
were more likely to CS to Setswana than girls. The results on the differences in
learners’ views on CS when asking a question and also when performing other class
functions were statistically highly significant (p = 0.008 and p = 0.001 respectively).
The former had no effect size and the latter had a small effect size (0.06). The
differences in learners’ views on CS when summarizing a lesson showed a tendency
towards statistical significance (p = 0.09).
Form / grade also had a significant effect on learners’ views on CS to ask a question,
and also to perform different class functions. More F 4 learners than F 5 learners
stated that they were allowed to CS when asking a question (F 4: 46% vs. F 5: 42%)
240
and when discussing class tasks (F 4: 35% vs. F 5: 31%). The results suggest that CS
was more likely to occur in F 4 classes than in F 5 classes. Both results demonstrated a
tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.07 and p = 0.09 respectively), with no
effect size.
Furthermore, fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on learners’ views,
hence the differences in learners’ views as set out above were statistically significant:
more fluent learners than the non-fluent learners stated that they were allowed to CS
when asking a question (45% vs. 41%); answering a question (31% vs. 25%); and
discussing class tasks (34% vs. 30%). The relationship between fluency in speaking
English and CS: when asking a question had a tendency towards statistical significance
(p = 0.09); answering a question was statistically highly significant (p = 0.004); and
discussing class tasks was statistically significant (p = 0.04). None of the results had
an effect size. In addition, more F 4 than F 5 learners stated that they were allowed to
CS to perform all class functions listed in Table 6.11above (42% vs. 39%). However,
the number of F 4 learners who stated that they were never allowed to CS in class was
very small and was the same as that of F 5 learners (12%). This suggests that CS was
used at both levels, but that its functions varied. The differences in learners’ views in
both cases showed a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.08 and p = 0.07
respectively), but without any effect size.
Academic ability had a significant effect on learners’ views about CS to summarise a
lesson, and to discuss class tasks. The results showed that more LA and MA learners
than HA learners stated that they were allowed to CS when performing both functions
(LA: 21%, MA: 18% vs. HA: 12%) and (LA: 33%, MA: 34% vs. HA: 27%). The
results suggest that CS was more likely to be used during classes of LA and MA
learners than in classes of HA learners. Both results were statistically highly
significant (p = 0.0001) and (p = 0.004), and both had no effect size.
HL had no significant effect on learners’ views on any of the dependent variables.
Consequently, the statistical test results showed that there was no relationship of
statistical significance between HL and any of the dependent variables.
241
Table 6.12: Learners’ views on educational benefits of CS use in a non-Setswana class
(RQ 4 ii)
Agree
1. I learn better when a
teacher CS.
2. I participate more when I
am allowed to CS to
Setswana.
Disagree
Not Sure
N
1781
%
84
N
235
%
11
N
104
%
5
Total
(N and %)
N
%
2120 100
1086
53
674
33
283
14
2043
100
M
Frq
N
247
324
The results in Table 6.12 above show that the majority of the learners have positive
views on CS in the classroom. They were of the view that the use of CS enhances
teaching and learning; and also increases learner participation in the lessons (84% and
53% respectively). The results suggest that learners were likely to CS to Setswana in
class.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
School location, form / grade, fluency in speaking English, and HL had a significant
effect on learners’ views that CS to Setswana enhanced learning. More learners at
peri-urban than at urban schools agreed that CS enhanced learning (S 3: 87%, S 4: 86%
vs. S 1: 79%, S 2: 83%). Thus CS was more likely to occur at peri-urban than at urban
schools. The results were statistically significant (p = 0.01), with no effect size.
Slightly more F 4 than F 5 learners agreed that CS enhanced learning (F 4: 86% vs.
82%), suggesting that F 4 learners were more likely to CS than F 5 learners. The
results showed a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.06), with no effect
size. Slightly more non-fluent than fluent learners also agreed with the aforementioned
view (90% vs. 84%). The results were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001),
with no effect size. Furthermore, the number of learners for whom English is a HL
who agreed that CS between English and Setswana enhanced their learning, was not as
high as for the learners of other home languages (English: 60% vs. Setswana: 88%,
Ikalanga: 90%, ‘Others’: 82%, and learners with more than one HL: 90%). This
suggests that the learners for whom English is a HL (who could speak and understand
Setswana) did not CS as much as learners of other HLs did). The results were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.0006) with a small effect size of 0.07. On the
contrary, academic ability and gender had no significant effect on learners’ opinions
242
about the aforementioned view. In this regard, the differences in learners’ responses
were not statistically significant.
Only HL, form / grade, academic ability, and fluency in speaking English had a
significant effect on the learners’ opinion on the view that CS enhanced learner
participation in the lesson. The majority of learners for whom English is a HL, held a
different view from the other learners of other home languages. They disagreed with
the view that CS enhanced their participation in the lesson, but other learners agreed
(English: 67% vs. Setswana: 61%, Ikalanga: 64%, ‘Others’: 52%, and learners with
more than one HL: 63%). The results were expected in that, having English as their
HL, which is also the LoLT, put them at an academic advantage over other learners.
The differences in learners’ responses were statistically significant (p = 0.04):
ƒ
Regarding form/ grade, more F 4 than F 5 learners agreed that CS enhanced their
participation in lessons (F 4: 55% vs. F 5: 51%); the results were statistically
significant (p = 0.03).
ƒ
Academic ability: More LA learners than MA and HA learners agreed that CS
enhanced their participation in the lesson (LA: 59% vs. MA: 56%, HA: 45%).
The results were also statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001).
ƒ
The views of the fluent learners were in contrast to those of non-fluent learners:
the former (fluent learners) disagreed with the view that CS to Setswana
enhanced their participation in the lesson, but the latter (non-fluent learners)
agreed (54% vs. 69%). The results were also statistically highly significant (p =
< 0.0001).
ƒ
Only the results of the influence of HL on learners’ views about the effect of CS
on learning and on class participation, and the effect of academic ability on
learners’ views on class participation had a small effect size of 0.07 and 0.10
respectively. This showed that there was a small association between learners’
opinions and the views expressed above.
ƒ
Other results, although statistically significant, had no effect size, showing that
the views expressed above were remote from reality.
ƒ
Gender had no significant effect on learners’ views regarding both views as the
learners’ views were almost identical. Consequently, the learners’ responses
were not statistically significant.
243
The results above suggest that learners for whom English was a HL were less likely to
CS to Setswana in class than the other learners. However, more of the less fluent
learners, the F 4 learners at peri-urban schools, and the LA learners were more likely to
CS to Setswana in class because they found CS didactically and educationally
beneficial.
Table 6.13: Learners’ attitude towards CS use in a Setswana class (Didactic) (RQ4 i)
N
890
%
43
N
878
%
42
N
308
%
15
N
2076
%
100
M
Frq
N
291
1351
65
593
28
144
7
2088
100
279
283
15
1578
76
227
11
2088
100
279
Agree
1. English should not be used
in a Setswana class.
2. No objection to teachers’ CS
to English to clarify a point.
3. It’s okay to answer teachers’
questions in English.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
The results in Table 6.13 above show that the learners’ views were almost evenly split
on CS in a Setswana lesson: 42% supported its use, but 43% did not. Despite this split
response, the results also show that the majority of the learners (65%) supported the
teachers’ CS during a lesson as long as it was educationally beneficial, such as for
clarification of a point, but objected to the learners’ CS as 76% of them had indicated.
The results suggest that in a Setswana class, the learners viewed the teacher’s CS as
having an educational role; and that the teachers were more likely to CS than the
learners.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The majority of the learners, irrespective of academic ability, fluency in speaking
English, gender, form / grade, school location, and HL, supported the teachers’ CS to
English, but did not support the learners’ CS in a Setswana class. The results suggest
that learners regarded the teacher’s CS to be for a specific purpose, namely to clarify a
point; but did not find it essential for learners to CS since they expressed themselves
better in Setswana -- a language all learners in a Setswana lesson understood. Learners
were not as supportive of CS in a Setswana lesson as they were in a lesson taught in
‘English’ (cf. Table 6.12). Therefore, it appears that learners associated CS with
244
lessons taught in English because they regarded it as a teaching strategy employed to
address the learners’ incompetence in English.
The following independent variables had a significant effect on learners’ views about
the teachers’ CS to English in a Setswana class:
ƒ
Academic ability: more HA learners than MA and LA learners supported the
teachers’ CS to English for clarification purposes (HA: 72% vs. MA: 64%, LA:
56%). The results suggest that HA learners regarded CS to be inconsequential
to their learning, but other learners (especially LA learners) were not as
enthusiastic about CS in a Setswana class as they were about CS in a class
taught in English. The results also suggest that LA learners find CS to
Setswana more didactically beneficial than CS to English.
ƒ
Fluency in speaking English: more fluent learners than non-fluent learners did
not object to the teachers’ CS to English (76% vs. 66%).
ƒ
Both results (above) were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001), with a
small effect size of 0.13 and 0.07 respectively.
ƒ
School location: although the majority of learners at all four the schools did not
object to the teachers’ CS to English in a Setswana class, on average, more
learners at urban than at peri-urban schools did not object (67% vs. 62%). The
results suggest that CS to English seemed to be more acceptable in urban
schools than in peri-urban schools. Learners at urban schools held English in
high esteem because of its official status. The results were statistically highly
significant (p = 0.004), with a small effect size (0.06).
The small effect size in each case suggested that a large sample size influenced the
significance of the results.
Academic ability and fluency in English also had a significant effect on learners’ views
that English should not be used in a Setswana class: slightly more LA learners than
MA and HA learners were opposed to CS to English in a Setswana class (52% vs. 43%
and 49%), thereby suggesting that the LA learners were also likely to be less fluent in
English. The results were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001) with a small
effect size (0.14). In addition, there were more fluent learners who supported CS to
245
English in a Setswana class than those who did not (54% vs. 48%), and that there were
more non-fluent learners who did not support CS to English than those who did so
(52% vs. 46%). The results suggest that learners who considered themselves to be
fluent in English were more likely to code-switch to English in a Setswana class than
the less fluent learners. The results were statistically significant (p = 0.01) with no
effect size.
Academic ability, school location, and fluency in speaking English had a significant
effect on the learners’ views that it was acceptable for them to CS to English when
responding to a teacher’s question in a Setswana lesson: more LA learners than MA
and HA learners disagreed with this view (80% vs. 75% and 72%). The results on the
effect of academic ability on learners’ views were statistically highly significant (p =
0.005), with no effect size. Although the majority of the learners at all four the schools
were opposed to CS when answering a teacher’s question, more learners at peri-urban
schools than those at urban schools were opposed to this practice (76% vs. 73%).
Similarly, more non-fluent than fluent learners disagreed with this view (77% vs.
72%). The effects of school location and fluency in English on the learners’ views
were statistically significant (p = 0.01, with an effect size of 0.06 and p = 0.02 with no
effect size respectively). The results suggest that more LA learners, not fluent in
English, at peri-urban schools, were less likely to CS to English in a Setswana lesson.
The results are consistent with those already expressed above, namely that generally,
learners were less enthusiastic about CS to English than to Setswana. For these
learners it appeared that learning was more effective if Setswana was used than if
English was the LoLT. Other results had no statistical significance. In addition,
gender, form / grade, and HL had no significant effect on learners’ views about the
dependent variables expressed above. Consequently, the differences in the learners’
views were not statistically significant.
Table 6.14: Learners’ views on extent of their CS use in a Setswana class (RQ 2)
Agree
1. I never use English in a
Setswana class.
2. Learners use Setswana only
during Setswana lessons.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
1164
%
56
N
705
%
34
N
218
%
10
N
2087
%
100
M
Frq
N
280
712
35
1125
55
226
11
2063
100
304
246
The results in Table 6.14 above indicate that the number of the learners who said they
personally never CS during Setswana lessons was almost the same as those who said
that other learners did (56% vs. 55%). The results suggest that, like in other classes
taught in English, learners CS during Setswana lessons.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results demonstrated that the majority of the learners, irrespective of academic
ability, form / grade, fluency in speaking English, gender, school location and HL,
stated that personally, they never CS to English during a Setswana lesson, but that
other learners did. Notwithstanding the above, the following independent variables
had a significant effect on the view that learners never CS to English during a
Setswana lesson:
ƒ
Academic ability: more LA learners than MA and HA learners stated that they
did not CS to English during Setswana lessons (64% vs. 58%, 47%). The
results suggest that, in a Setswana class, LA learners were less likely to CS to
English, but HA learners were more likely to CS, whilst the MA learners were
likely to moderately CS to English. The results are consistent with those stated
above (cf. Table 6.13). The differences in learners’ responses were statistically
highly significant ((p = < 0.0001), with a small effect size of 0.09.
ƒ
School location: more learners at peri-urban than at urban schools agreed that
personally, they never CS to English in a Setswana class (S 3: 57%, S 4: 61%
vs. S 1: 52%, S 2: 54%). The results suggest that CS in a Setswana class was
more likely to occur at urban than at peri-urban schools. The results had a
tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.09) with no effect size.
ƒ
Fluency in speaking English: more non-fluent than fluent learners stated that
they never CS to English in a Setswana lesson (58% vs. 51%). The results
suggest that the fluent learners were more likely to CS to English in a Setswana
class than non-fluent learners. The results were statistically highly significant
(p = 0.002), with a small effect size of 0.07.
247
Furthermore, academic ability and gender had a significant effect on learners’ views
about language use in a Setswana class: more HA and MA learners disagreed with the
view that learners use Setswana only during Setswana lessons. This implies that CS to
English occurred during Setswana lessons. However, half of the LA learners agreed
that there was no CS during Setswana lessons (HA: 65%, MA: 56% vs. LA: 50%).
The results were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001) with a small effect size
(0.15). In addition, more girls than boys disagreed with the view that learners used
Setswana only during Setswana lessons (56% vs. 53%). The results suggest that there
was CS during Setswana lessons. The results had a tendency towards statistical
significance (p = 0.09) with no effect size. The results suggest that CS occurred during
Setswana lessons even though some learners attributed its use to other learners; but not
to themselves.
Gender had no significant effect on learners’ views pertaining to CS to English by
individual learners. School location and fluency in English had no significant effect on
learners’ views on general CS by learners in a Setswana class. In addition, HL and
Form / grade had no significant effect on the learners’ views on both dependent
variables contained in Table 6.14 above. Consequently, the insignificant results had no
statistical significance.
Table 6.15: Learners’ views on extent of teachers’ CS in a Setswana class (RQ 2)
Agree
CS in a Setswana class
1. My teacher sometimes CS to
English.
2. The teacher sometimes allows
learners to CS to English.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
1180
%
58
N
722
%
35
N
147
%
7
N
2049
%
100
M
Frq
N
318
589
29
1262
62
194
9
2045
100
322
The results in Table 6.15 above show that in a Setswana class, teachers CS to English,
but they discouraged their learners from doing the same (58% vs. 62%). The results
suggest that CS during Setswana lessons seems to be the privilege of the teachers, but
the same privilege was rarely extended to their learners.
248
Influence of independent variables on learners’ views about dependent variables
The results showed that form / grade and fluency in speaking English had a significant
effect on learners’ views about teachers’ CS in a Setswana class: more F 5 than F 4
learners agreed that their Setswana teachers sometimes CS to English in class (60% vs.
56%). The results indicated a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.08). The
more fluent learners than the non-fluent learners agreed that Setswana teachers
sometimes CS to English in class (66% vs. 60%). The differences in the learners’
views above were statistically significant (p = 0.01). Both results had no effect size.
Form / grade had no significant effect on the view that learners were allowed to CS in a
Setswana class.
Furthermore, HL, and fluency in speaking English also had a significant effect on
learners’ view that Setswana teachers allowed CS to English in class: the majority of
the learners whose HL is Setswana (65%), Ikalanga (72%), Other (70%), and learners
with more than one HL (62%) disagreed with the view that Setswana teachers allowed
their learners to CS to English in class. However, 70% learners for whom English is
HL agreed that Setswana teachers allowed CS. Furthermore, more non-fluent than the
fluent learners disagreed with the view that Setswana teachers allowed CS in their
classes (70% vs. 64%). The differences in learners’ views in both cases were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.003 and p = 0.005) with a small effect size of 0.10
and 0.6 respectively. The results above suggest that Setswana teachers freely CS to
English in class, but actively discouraged their learners from doing the same. HL had
no significant effect on learners’ views about Setswana teachers’ CS in class.
Furthermore, academic ability, gender, and school location had no significant effect on
learners’ views on both dependent variables expressed above. Consequently, the
differences in learners’ views were not statistically significant.
Table 6.16: Learners’ views on the effect of CS on the pace of teaching and learning (RQ
4 iii)
Agree
Effect of CS on lesson pace
CS use during the lesson is a
waste of teaching time.
N
241
%
12
Disagree
N
1602
%
78
Not Sure
N
207
%
10
Total
N
2050
%
100
M
Frq
N
317
249
The results in Table 6.16 above indicate that the majority of the learners (78%) did not
find the use of CS a waste of teaching time. Because CS did not affect the pace of the
lesson, teaching and learning were not compromised. This question will be answered
in detail in the next chapter by analyzing the qualitative data.
Influence of independent variables on learners’ views about the dependent variable
stated above
The majority of the learners, irrespective of school location, gender, form, fluency in
speaking English, academic ability, and HL, did not view CS use as a waste of
teaching time. However, only school location had a significant effect on learners’
views about the impact of CS on teaching time: more learners at peri-urban than at
urban schools indicated that CS had no adverse effect on the pace of the lesson and
teaching time (S 3 and S 4: 80% vs. S 1: 76%, S 2: 75%). The results suggest that
although CS was used in both urban and peri-urban schools it was more likely to be
used in the latter than in the former; and that learners were positive about the effect of
CS on teaching and learning. The differences in learners’ views were statistically
significant (p = 0.02), with no effect size. Other independent variables had no
significant effect on learners’ responses to the dependent variable contained in Table
6.16 above. Consequently, the results were also not statistically significant.
Table 6.17: Learners’ views on their use of CS in class (by gender) (RQ 5 ii)
Boys
1. CS to Setswana in class
2. Express themselves well
in English
N
521
327
Girls
%
25
16
N
347
770
%
17
37
Both
N
1189
974
Total
%
58
47
N
2057
2071
M
Frq
N
310
296
%
100
100
The results in Table 6.17 above show that although both boys and girls were of the
view that they expressed themselves well in English, they CS to Setswana in class.
However, more boys than girls CS (25 vs. 17) and more girls than boys were fluent in
English (37% vs. 16). The results suggest that girls were less likely to CS than boys,
and that their CS was not necessarily due to a lack of fluency in English. A similar
observation was made in the previous chapter by teachers.
250
Influence of the independent variables on the dependent variables
The results showed more girls than boys (62% vs. 52%), more LA learners than MA
and HA learners (LA: 64% vs. MA: 58%, HA: 53%) stated that learners CS to
Setswana in class, regardless of their gender. The results suggest that learners,
regardless of gender, CS to Setswana in class but boys were more likely to CS than
girls; and CS was more likely to occur during classes of LA learners. CS was least
likely to occur during classes of HA learners. The results of the effect of gender and
academic ability on learners’ views about their CS in class were statistically highly
significant (p = < 0.0001), with a medium effect size of 0.22 and (p = < 0.004), with a
small effect size of 0.06 respectively. These statistical results suggest that there was a
medium association between learners’ opinion and gender, and a small association
between learners’ opinion and academic ability on the view that they CS in class,
regardless of their gender.
In addition, there were more learners, regardless of HL, who stated that both boys and
girls CS than those who said they did not. However, the smallest proportion was for
learners for whom Setswana was a HL, followed by learners for whom English was a
HL (55%, 56%). The numbers of learners whose HLs were Ikalanga, ‘Others’ and
learners with more than one HLwere slightly higher (59%, 60%; and 65% in that
order). The results suggest that learners for whom Setswana was a HL were reluctant
to agree that they CS to Setswana in case they be viewed as using their HL in class,
which may be seen as an indication of a lack of fluency in English. Concerning
learners for whom English was a HL, the results were expected, given that their HL
was the LoLT. Therefore, they were likely to be sensitive to CS to Setswana in class.
The results on the effect of HL on the learners’ opinion were statistically highly
significant (p = < 0.0001), with a small effect size of 0.11. Furthermore, more nonfluent than the fluent learners stated that both boys and girls CS to Setswana during
lessons of subjects taught in ‘English’ (Non-fluent: 62% vs. Fluent: 50%). The results
also showed that almost the same number of learners at both urban and peri-urban
schools stated that both girls and boys CS in class (urban: 57.5% vs. peri-urban: 57%).
The results on the effect of fluency in speaking English, and school location on
learners’ views regarding their CS in class were statistically highly significant (p = <
0.0001) with a small effect size of 0.12 and 0.16 respectively. The results suggest that
251
both boys and girls, regardless of their HL and school location, were likely to CS to
Setswana in class because of the status of Setswana as a national language spoken by
almost all learners (99%). However, more learners not fluent in English were likely to
CS to Setswana than the learners fluent in English. Form / grade had no significant
effect on learners’ views on their CS in class.
Furthermore, gender, academic ability, HL, school location, fluency in speaking
English, and form / grade had a significant effect on learners views on their fluency in
spoken English: Although learners, regardless of gender, stated that they expressed
themselves well in English (M: 46%, F: 48%), more girls considered themselves to be
more fluent than boys (47% vs. 26%). More LA learners than MA and HA learners
stated that both boys and girls were fluent in spoken English (LA: 53% vs. MA and
HA: 45% each). Similarly, more learners, irrespective of HL stated that both boys and
girls were fluent in English but that girls were more fluent than boys, except for
learners for whom English was a HL, who did not see any difference in fluency
between boys and girls (31%, 31%). The ratios were as follows in favour of girls:
Setswana: 43: 12; Ikalanga: 31: 18; ‘Others’: 42: 15; and learners with more than one
HL: 38: 16. In addition, more learners at S 2, S 3 and S 4 stated that both boys and
girls were fluent in English, but at S1 more learners said girls were more fluent (S 2:
52%; S 3: 47%; S 4: 50%). Despite the views of learners at the first three schools
expressed above, looking at each group individually, more girls at each school
considered themselves to be more fluent than boys. The ratio was as follows: S 1: 47%
vs. 12%; S 2: 36% vs. 12%; S 3: 32% vs. 21%; and S 4: 33% vs. 17%). The girls’
views appeared to be highly subjective. Furthermore, more non-fluent learners stated
that both boys and girls were fluent in spoken English but more fluent learners said
girls were more fluent than boys (50% vs. 42%).
The results suggest that even though learners, irrespective of gender, CS to Setswana in
class, girls’ CS did not signal an inability to express themselves in English, but it was
likely to be the case with boys. Therefore, the former (girls) were less likely to CS
than the latter (boys). However, for learners whose HL is English, fluency for both
boys and girls was rated the same. This was not unexpected, given that it was a
language for both home and school.
252
The statistical test results showed that the differences in learners’ views on the
aforementioned dependent variable influenced by fluency in English, school location,
and HL were statistically highly significant (p = < 0. 0001), each with a small effect
size (0.09, 0.12 and 0.08, in that order). The influence of gender on learners’ views
was also statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001) with a medium effect size of
0.32. Academic ability had an influence of statistical significance on learners’ views
(p = 0.02), with a small effect size (0.08). The effect of form / grade on learners’
views showed a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.07), with no effect
size.
6.5 LEARNERS’ VIEWS ON THE USE OF SETSWANA AND OTHER
INDIGENOUS LANGUAGES IN EDUCATION
Table 6.18: Learners’ views on the teachers’ use of other local languages in class (RQ 2)
Always
Use other local
languages in class
N
136
%
7
Sometimes
N
917
%
46
Never
N
952
%
47
Total
N
2005
%
100
M
Frq
N
362
The results in Table 6.18 above show that teachers CS to a local language in class.
However, this form of CS is minimal because of the insignificant difference between
the number of learners who said it occurred and those who said it did not occur (53%
vs. 47%). The results suggest that this form of CS rarely occurred in class. This is not
unexpected given that local languages have no official status in education.
Influence of independent variables on learners’ views on dependent variables.
School location, gender, form, academic ability, and HL had a significant effect on the
learners’ views on the teachers’ CS to a local language: the majority of the learners at
peri-urban schools stated that other local languages were used in class, but those at
urban schools said they were never used (S 3: 69%; S 4: 66% vs. S 1: 60%; S 2: 64%).
The results suggest that teachers at peri-urban schools were more likely to CS to a local
language than those at urban schools. The results were statistically highly significant
(p = 0.001), and the effect size (0.23), shows that there was a medium association
253
between the learners’ opinion and the view that their teachers sometimes used a local
language in class to ensure understanding.
Furthermore, more boys than girls stated that teachers CS to other local languages
(besides Setswana) in class to ensure understanding (56% vs. 50%). However, the
girls’ view was evenly divided: half of them concurred with the majority of the boys;
but the other half stated that CS to a local language never occurred in class. The
results suggest that CS to a local language occurred from time to time in the classroom.
Whilst the majority of the F 4 learners agreed that their teachers used other local
languages (besides Setswana) in class to ensure understanding of the lessons, just more
than half of the F 5 learners disagreed (57% vs. 52%). The results suggest that there
was likely to be more CS to a local language at F 4 than at F 5 level. Both these results
were statistically highly significant (p = < 0.0001) and (p = 0.0006) respectively.
However, an effect size in each case (0.10 and 0.08) showed that there was a small
association between the learners’ opinion and the views stated above, and that the
significance was largely due to a large sample.
In addition, more MA than LA learners (56% vs. 52%) held the view that other local
languages were used in class, but 51% of the HA learners held an opposite view. The
results suggest that teachers were unlikely to CS to local languages during classes of
HA learners than during classes of MA learners and, to some extent even during
classes of LA learners. Although there was a small difference between the number of
learners who stated that local languages were used in class and those who said they
were never used, to some extent, HL influenced the learners’ views. The former (the
view that local languages were used in class) was agreed to by 56% of the learners
whose HL is Ikalanga; 51% of ‘Others’; 53% of the learners with more than one HL,
and 50% of the learners whose HL was English. However, 51% of the learners whose
HL is Setswana and the other 50% of the learners whose HL is English agreed with the
latter (the view that local languages were never used in class). The results suggest that
the learners’ local language might have been used for didactic reasons where the
official LoLT was failing, and that it was likely to be used in a class where the teacher
was sure that the language used was intelligible to the majority of the learners. The
statistical test result (p = 0.08) showed that there was a tendency towards statistical
significance in the relationship between the former independent variable (academic
254
ability) and the learners’ opinion on the view expressed above. The results of the
effect of HL on the learners’ views were also statistically significant (p = 0.02).
However, both results had no effect size.
Only fluency in speaking English had no significant effect on the learners’ responses.
Both the fluent and the non-fluent learners agreed that other local languages were used
in class (50% vs. 54%). Consequently, the results were also not statistically
significant.
Table 6.19: Local languages teachers use in class (RQ 2)
Languages
1. Ikalanga
2. Others
Total
N
837
95
932
%
90
10
100
The results in Table 6.19 above indicate that Ikalanga was the main local language to
which CS took place. This was not unexpected, given that it was the home language
for the majority of the learners (more than 46%). The other local languages were
hardly used in class. The results suggest that although CS in the classroom was mainly
between English and Setswana; sometimes it also involved Ikalanga, a local language
of the area.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
Further analysis of the results by independent variables showed that all but school
location had no significant effect on learners’ views. Learners at peri-urban schools
held contrasting views from learners in urban schools: the majority of those at the two
peri urban schools stated that, besides Setswana, Ikalanga was the local language used
in class, but the majority of the learners at the two urban schools disagreed (S 3: 71%,
S 4: 61% vs. S 1: 66%, S 2: 61%). The results were consistent with the learners’
population distribution by HL. There were more learners in peri-urban schools whose
HL was Ikalanga than in urban schools (S 3: 58%, S 4: 74% vs. S 1: 23%, S 2: 36%).
Setswana was a HL for the majority of the learners at urban than at peri-urban schools
(S 1: 53%, S 2: 49% vs. S 3: 29%, S 4: 18%). Therefore, Ikalanga was more likely to
255
be used in peri-urban schools than in urban schools. The results were statistically
highly significant (p = 0.0004), with no effect size.
Furthermore, the results showed that nearly almost all learners, regardless of academic
ability (LA and MA: 98% each, HA: 100%); gender (M: 98%, F: 99%); Form (F 4:
99%, F 5: 98%); and fluency in speaking English (fluent: 97%, non-fluent: 99%),
agreed that Ikalanga was the main local language used in class besides Setswana. The
results were not unexpected given that Ikalanga was the local language for the majority
of the residents of the region in which the study was carried out. The results suggest
that besides English and Setswana, Ikalanga was the main local language which could
be used in the classroom. However, none of the four independent variables stated
above had any influence of statistical significance on the learners’ opinions on the
views expressed above.
Table 6.20: Learners’ negative perceptions about the use of Setswana in class (RQ 6)
Agree
1. It is easier to learn new
concepts in English than in
Setswana.
2. Setswana should only be
used in Setswana classes.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
959
%
45
N
663
%
31
N
519
%
24
N
2141
%
100
M
Frq
N
226
1064
51
792
38
221
11
2077
100
290
The results in Table 6.20 above indicate that there were more learners who had
negative perceptions about the use of Setswana in class than those who had positive
perceptions. Learners found the learning of new concepts to be easier in English than
in Setswana (45% vs. 31%); they did not support the use of Setswana outside Setswana
lessons (51% vs. 38%). The results suggest that the learners did not support the use of
Setswana as the LoLT, except during Setswana lessons. The learners’ present view
contradicts their earlier view (cf. Table 6.7) in which they supported the use of
Setswana as the LoLT. The results therefore affirm the status of English as the LoLT,
and downgrade the use of Setswana in education.
256
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
The results showed that more learners, irrespective of school location, gender, Form,
and HL, had negative perceptions about the use of Setswana in education. Therefore
the results were not statistically significant.
Generally, the majority of the learners, regardless of HL, did not support the use of
Setswana in education, but the learners whose HL is English (87.5%) were the most
opposed to the idea of Setswana being used as the LoLT in schools. The results were
not unexpected, given that such a policy would reduce the hegemony of English in
education. The aforementioned results were not statistically significant. They suggest
that the learners’ perceptions about the use of Setswana in education are negative.
They regard English as a HFFC language, and Setswana as a HFIC language in
education.
However, fluency in speaking English and academic ability had a significant influence
on learners’ views on the dependent variables stated above (cf. Table 6.20): more
fluent than the non-fluent learners agreed that it was easier to learn new concepts in
English than in Setswana (53% vs. 41%), and also agreed that Setswana should be used
in Setswana classes only (54% vs. 50%). The results showed that learners who were
fluent in English had more regard for the use of English in education than Setswana.
Therefore, they were less likely to CS to Setswana in a class taught in English, but
were more likely to CS to English during a Setswana lesson. In both cases, the results
were statistically significant. The former was (p = < 0.0001), showing that the
relationship between fluency in speaking English and the learners’ opinion on the
effect of learning new concepts in English vs. Setswana was highly significant with a
small effect size of (0.12). The latter result was (p = 0.06), showing that there was a
tendency towards statistical significance between fluency in speaking English and the
learners’ opinion of using Setswana as LoLT, but there was no effect size.
Furthermore, more HA learners than MA and LA learners agreed that it was easier to
learn in English than in Setswana (HA: 50% vs. MA: 45%; LA: 39%). The results
suggest that HA learners were less likely to CS to Setswana, but that MA and LA
learners were more likely to CS to Setswana. However, more LA than MA and HA
257
learners agreed that Setswana should only be used in Setswana classes (60% vs. 51%,
45%). The results were unexpected. The LA learners were expected to support the
wide use of Setswana as the LoLT. The HA learners and, to some extent, the MA
learners were expected to oppose the use of Setswana as the LoLT. Both results were
statistically highly significant (p = 0.0009 and p = <0.0001 respectively). However,
the high significance was greatly influenced by a large sample size as the effect size
was small in both cases (0.06 and 0.08 respectively).
Table 6.21: Learners’ negative perceptions about the use of other local languages in class
(RQ 6)
Agree
1. It is easier for me to learn in my
own language than in English.
2. I have no problem when a
teacher uses the learners’ local
language in class.
3. There is no need to use other
local languages in class besides
English.
4. My teacher sometimes uses my
local language in class to ensure
understanding.
5. Learners participate more
when they are allowed to use their
own local language in class.
6. Allowing learners to use their
local lang. in class does not help
them improve their spoken Eng.
Disagree
Not Sure
Total
N
571
%
27
N
1194
%
57
N
319
%
15
N
2084
%
100
M
Frq
N
283
815
40
1060
52
183
9
2058
100
309
909
44
871
42
272
13
2052
100
315
1079
53
829
40
145
7
2053
100
314
1004
49
737
36
300
15
2041
100
326
1365
67
468
23
218
11
2051
100
316
The results in Table 6.21 above show that, generally, learners had negative perceptions
about the use of a local language in education. Their negative perceptions were as
follows: they did not think that using their own local language made learning easier
(57% vs. 27%); the use of a local language in class had a negative impact on acquiring
fluency in English (67% vs. 23%); it was unnecessary to use local languages in class
(44% vs. 42%). Consequently, they objected to the teachers’ CS to a local language
(52% vs. 40%).
258
Despite the negative views expressed above, some of the learners were of the opinion
that using a local language in class had some positive effects on teaching and learning,
such as increased class participation and increased understanding of lessons expressed
by 49% and 53% respectively. The results suggest that some learners recognized the
value of using local languages in education, even though they were in the minority, and
even though it was not officially permissible to use them.
Overall, the majority of the learners shared the view that allowing the learners to use
their local language in class had little or no educational value. This outcome,
therefore, suggests a negative perception among the majority of the learners of the use
of local languages in education. The local languages were mainly viewed as LFFC
languages, as opposed to English that was undoubtedly viewed as a HFFC language.
These results above are similar to those expressed earlier in Table 6.20. In both cases,
and on the one hand, Setswana and other local languages were viewed negatively as
LFFC languages with a minimal or no role to play in education. On the other hand,
English is positively perceived educationally as a HFFC language. Despite the
negative perceptions expressed earlier about Setswana and other local languages in
education, previous results indicated that CS to either Setswana or a local language
occurs in the classroom. This implies that the LoLT (English) may be problematic to
use in the classroom. This issue will be revisited in Chapter Eight when the responses
to the research questions are discussed.
Influence of independent variables on dependent variables
All the independent variables had a significant effect on some of the learners’
responses as contained in Table 6.21 above.
Gender, form / grade, academic ability, and fluency in speaking English had a
significant effect on learners’ opinions that it was easier for them to learn in their own
language than in English: more girls than boys (60% vs. 56%) and more F5 than F4
learners (61% vs. 54%) disagreed. The results suggest that female learners in F5 were
unlikely to CS to their local language in class. However, almost the same number of
learners with different academic abilities (LA: 58%, MA: 57% and HA: 58%) shared
259
the same view as stated above. This suggests that despite the learners’ differences in
academic ability, the majority of them were unlikely to CS to a local language in class.
In addition, the majority of the fluent learners disagreed with the view that it was easier
for them to learn in their own language than in English, but the majority of the nonfluent learners agreed with this view (60% vs.53%). The results suggest that learners
who were not fluent in English were more likely to support the use of their local
language in class than the fluent learners.
Furthermore, the majority of the learners for whom Ikalanga is a local language agreed
that they found it easier to learn in their own language than in English, but other
learners whose HL was either Setswana or English or ‘Others’, including learners with
more than one HL, disagreed (47% vs. 47%, 79%, 63%). The results are not
unexpected because the use of Ikalanga in class would be more beneficial to the
learners whose HL is Ikalanga than to the other learners. Furthermore, although they
were some learners who understood Ikalanga, even though it was not their HL, there
were other learners (30%) who did not understand it at all.
The results above were statistically significant. The relationship between gender and
academic ability as independent variables, and the view that it was easier for learners
to learn in their own language than in English, were statistically significant (p = 0.03
and p = 0.01 respectively). The former had no effect size, but the latter had an effect
size of 0.07. On the one hand, the relationship between form / grade and fluency in
speaking English, and, on the other hand, learners’ views on the view stated above,
were statistically highly significant (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0001 respectively). The
former had a small effect size of 0.07, but the latter had no effect size. School location
and HL had no influence of statistical significance to the learners’ opinions on the view
stated above.
School location, gender, and HL had a significant effect on learners’ opinions about the
teachers’ use of a local language in class. The majority of the learners at the two urban
schools objected to teachers’ using a local language in class, but at the two peri-urban
schools there were more learners who had no objection to it than those who did object
(S 1: 54%, S 2: 59% vs. S 3: 47%, S 4: 47%). The results were not unexpected as there
were more learners whose HL is Ikalanga in the two peri-urban schools (S 3:58% and
260
S 4:74%) than there were in the two urban schools (S 1: 23% and S 2: 36%), as
previously stated. The results suggest that CS to a local language was more likely to
occur at the two peri-urban schools than at the two urban schools.
In addition, although both boys and girls disagreed with the view that learning was
easier if a local language was used, slightly more girls than boys disagreed (F: 54% vs.
M: 48%). The results suggest that boys were more likely to support the use of a local
language in class than girls. Similarly, whilst more learners whose HL was either
Setswana or English or ‘Others’, including learners with more than one HL, disagreed
with this view, more learners for whom Ikalanga was a local language agreed with this
view (Setswana: 51%, English: 64%, ‘Others’: 68% vs. Ikalanga: 49%). As previously
stated, learners for whom Ikalanga was a HL would benefit didactically if a teacher
were to CS to their local language. The differences in learners’ views stated above
were statistically highly significant (school location: p = 0.0001, gender: p = 0.0003,
and HL: p = 0.0001). However, the high significance was due to a large sample size as
small effect size was recorded for each result (0.11, 0.08 and 0.15). Academic ability,
form, gender, and fluency in speaking English had no influence of statistical
significance on the learners’ views.
School location, gender and HL had a significant effect on learners’ opinions on the
view that there was no need to use other local languages in class. More learners at
urban schools agreed with this view, but those at peri-urban schools disagreed (S 1:
45%, S 2: 51% vs. S 3: 46%, S 4: 45%). Furthermore, the proportion of girls who
agreed with this view was the same as the number or proportion of boys who disagreed
(47% vs. 47%). Whilst there were more learners, irrespective of HL, who agreed that
there was no need to use a local language in class, more learners whose HL was
Ikalanga were of the view that a local language should be used in class (Setswana:
51%, English: 64%, Others (including learners with more than one HL: 49% vs.
Ikalanga: 48%).
The results suggest that more learners at the peri-urban schools, majority of them boys,
whose HL is Ikalanga were more likely to be supportive of the use of their local
languages in class alongside English. While the reason behind their views may be a
lack of proficiency in English or Setswana, it could also be due to strong affinity to
261
their language that Bakalanga are known for in Botswana as already alluded to in
Chapter One.
The results stated above were statistically highly significant (p = 0.0008, p = 0.004 and
p = < 0.0001). However, the small effect size in each case (0.06, 0.07 and 0.15),
suggested that the sample size largely influenced the significance of the results. As the
previous results demonstrated, academic ability, form / grade, and fluency in speaking
English did not have any significant effect on learners’ views. Consequently, their
results were not statistically significant.
School location, gender, academic ability, and form / grade had a significant effect on
learners’ views that sometimes teachers CS to a local language to ensure
understanding. The majority of the learners at urban schools refuted this statement, but
the majority of the learners at peri-urban schools agreed (S1: 51%, S 2: 49% vs. S 3:
66%, S 4: 64%); whilst both boys and girls agreed that sometimes teachers CS to a
local language in class, more boys than girls agreed with the statement (M: 55% vs. F:
51%). Although the majority of the learners in each category of academic ability
agreed with the statement above, more MA learners than HA and LA learners agreed
(MA: 58%, HA: 50% and LA: 49%). The results are interesting in that, thus far, the
views of MA and HA have been in contrast with the views of LA learners. Similarly,
both F 4 and F 5 learners agreed that their teachers sometimes CS to a local language
in class, but more F 4 than F 5 learners agreed (F 4: 57% vs. F 5: 48%). The results
suggest that CS to a local language was likely to occur more at peri-urban schools than
at urban schools, and that more boys than girls, learners of MA and in Form 4 classes
were likely to support CS to a local language. The results also suggest that the
objective of using a local language was to enhance comprehension of the content of the
lessons where the LoLT may not be effective.
The differences in learners’ views expressed above were statistically significant. The
effect of school location, academic ability, and form / grade on learners’ views that
sometimes teachers CS to a local language to enhance understanding of the lesson was
highly significant (p = 0.0001, p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0005, in that order). The medium
effect size of 0.23 showed that there was a medium association between learners’
responses (by school location). However, the small effect size of 0.09 and 0.08 on the
262
results of effect of academic ability and form / grade showed that sample size largely
contributed to the high significance of the results, and that there was a small
association between the results and reality. Fluency in speaking English and HL had
no effect of statistical significance on learners’ views.
Only school location had a significant effect on learners’ views that learners’
participation in class increased if they were allowed to CS to a local language. The
majority of the learners at peri-urban schools agreed that CS to a local language
increased class participation (S 3: 55%, S 4: 60% vs. S 1: 43%, S 2: 43%), but those at
urban schools disagreed. The results were statistically highly significant (p = <
0.0001), with a small effect size of 0.14. All the other independent variables had no
significant effect on learners’ views. Hence their results were not statistically
significant.
Form / grade and fluency in speaking English had a significant effect on learners’
views that allowing learners to CS to a local language in class negatively affected the
attainment of fluency in English. Although both the F 4 and F 5 learners agreed with
this view, more F 5 than F 4 learners agreed. The results suggest that F 4 learners were
not as negative about CS to a local language as the F 5 learners were. Similarly, both
the fluent and the non-fluent learners agreed that allowing CS to a local language was
detrimental to the acquisition of English proficiency among learners. However, more
fluent learners than the non-fluent learners were opposed to this practice. The results
on the effect of form / grade on learners’ views were statistically highly significant (p
= 0.007), with a small effect size of 0.06, but the differences in learners’ responses (by
fluency in English) indicated a tendency towards statistical significance (p = 0.08),
with no effect size.
The results showed that more learners (boys) who were not fluent in English, were in F
4, whose HL was Ikalanga, and who were attending peri-urban schools, were more
receptive to CS to a local language and were, therefore, more likely to CS than the
fluent learners (girls) who were in F 5, whose HL was any of the languages in the
study apart from Ikalanga, and who were attending urban schools. Academic ability
was not as influential to learners’ views as the other independent variables. Learners,
263
despite their different academic abilities, shared similar views -- they did not CS to a
local language in class.
6.6 SHORT SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
According to their responses, the learners acknowledged the existence of CS in the
classroom. They also acknowledged that CS did not only take place between English
and Setswana, but that it was extended also to a local language, Ikalanga, although
minimally so. The learners’ attitude towards CS was generally positive, and they
found it educationally beneficial. They did not object to CS to Setswana, but more to
CS to English during Setswana lessons than to CS to a local language in any class.
Furthermore, like their teachers, they were of the view that CS is used more during the
lessons of content subjects than during the lessons of language subjects.
Having quantitatively analyzed and presented the results from the teachers’ and the
learners’ responses in the previous and the present chapter respectively, and having
stated what the statistics indicated, the next chapter will deal with the analysis and the
presentation of the qualitative data obtained through lesson observations. The aim is to
determine whether or not CS occurred during the lessons observed; to identify the
nature of CS and its functions in the classroom, and its effects on teaching and
learning. It is hoped that the findings from the qualitative data will corroborate the
findings reached by analyzing the quantitative data.
264
CHAPTER SEVEN
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF THE QUALITATIVE DATA
7.1 INTRODUCTION
The last three chapters were dedicated to the quantitative analysis of the data collected
via questionnaires for the teachers and the learners. From the analysis, the
participants’ views on the role of CS in a teaching and learning situation were brought
to the fore. The similarities and differences in their views were also summarized. In
the present chapter, the qualitative analysis of the data collected during lesson
observations will be presented. In analyzing the data collected, reference will be made
to the definition of the concepts central to this study, namely CS and its different forms
(intra-sentential, inter-sentential and tag-like / emblematic CS), CM, borrowing, and its
associated categories -- borrowing proper and nonce borrowing. (cf. Chapter Two).
7.2 THE QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE DATA FROM LESSON
OBSERVATIONS
A large amount of data was collected. However, it was not practically possible to
transcribe all the audio-recorded lessons (197). Instead, a random selection of 20
recorded lessons was made, and then they were transcribed verbatim. This is believed
to be a fair representation of the qualitative data as it constitutes 10% of the data. As
already alluded to in Chapter Three, for reasons of space, only five transcriptions
representing each of the five subjects in the study are included in the study (cf.
Addendum C). The rest of the data is available on audio-tapes and can be made
available if necessary. It should be noted that, in the random selection of the lessons,
the researcher ensured that there was representation in terms of subject, class level,
gender of the teacher, and school location (urban or peri-urban). The five transcribed
lessons comprise the following:
(a) A biology lesson (Transcription 1): The lesson was taught by a female teacher in an
urban school, and the class level was F 4. The lesson topic was Filtration.
265
(b) A home- economics lesson: Fashion and Fabric (Transcription 2): The lesson was
taught by a female teacher in a peri-urban school, and the class level was F 4. The
lesson topic was Design Elements and Principles.
(c) A history lesson (Transcription 3): The lesson was taught by a male teacher in an
urban school, and the class level was F 5. The lesson topic was The colonization of the
Cape by the Dutch.
(d) An English language lesson (transcription 4): The lesson was taught by a male
teacher in a peri-urban school; and the class level was F 5. The lesson topic was a
comprehension exercise entitled Man and Animals. As previously explained in
Chapter Three, the language and literature lessons in English are treated in the same
way by schools, as in both cases language is the primary target. In that regard, only the
transcription of the language lesson in English is included in the addendum.
(e) A Setswana lesson (Transcription 5): The lesson was taught by a male teacher in a
peri-urban school, and the class level was F 5. The lesson topic was Debate, known in
Setswana as Ngangisano.
All the transcribed lessons served as focal points in the analysis of the qualitative data.
However, reference was also made to the other lessons not transcribed and some
examples were drawn from them where necessary. The incidence of CS in the lessons
was calculated by using the ratio between the absence of CS, and its presence within
the sentence, used as a unit of calculation. The data was then scrutinized to determine
whether it fell within the definition of CS as defined by the different scholars
(cf. Chapter Two; section 2.2.1), and its role in education was examined.
The lessons were mainly characterized by the teachers’ discourse and there were very
few learners’ discourse. The lessons were teacher-centred; that is, the teacher was the
main speaker while the learners were passive participants with the occasional
invitations by the teacher to respond to questions. Their responses were brief in the
form of either a single word, phrase or a short sentence or even silence. At times the
learners responded in a chorus, using short responses such as ‘ee’ (yes) or nnyaa (no)
followed by mma (madam) or rra (sir), depending on the gender of the teacher to
266
form ee mma or ee rra or their contracted forms eemm or eerr respectively (Arthur,
2001). The affirmative response implied that the learners were following what was
being said or that they agreed with the teacher; while negation implied disagreement or
that they were not following what was being said. Where there were learner responses,
they were in most cases, barely audible. Although this was a setback, it did not
adversely affect the results of the study because it provided an accurate picture of the
language situation in the classroom.
The classroom observations also included a description of what visually transpired in
the classroom. Owing to the absence of a video-recorder, what could not be recorded
on the audio-tape was recorded in note form. The notes were used later to provide
descriptions of the visible occurrences and were included in the transcriptions. These
occurrences included gestures or mumblings by any of the participants. Further, as
noted by Fasold (1984: 152, in Strydom, 2002: 85), ‘observation’ refers to the
recording of people’s activities by the researcher whilst watching them. It enabled the
researcher to observe the conduct of the participants, and later to interpret the
observations made in relation to the phenomenon being researched, namely CS.
For a more effective analysis of the recorded data, each lesson was divided into three
main parts, referred to by Hymes (1974) as “act sequence” -- discourse initiation,
development, and discourse closure. This was to better identify at which stage CS
occurred during the discourse, or whether it occurred throughout the course of the
lesson. This was based on Hymes’ mnemonic of SPEAKING (Hymes, 1974),
previously explained in Chapter Three (cf. Section 3.6.1 a). The application of this
model allowed for the identification of CS as a speech act that occurred in a discourse
that took place in a teaching and learning environment, such as the classroom, in order
to establish its role within the discourse. Hence the nature and the function of CS
within the discourse were important, that is, was its function semantic or pragmatic?
The former refers to the educational functions of CS, and the latter to the use of CS for
social or psychological reasons, as well as to manage class participation. The nature
and the function of CS could be identified from the content of the speech act as well as
the speaker’s voice or tone. As the classroom was regarded by both the teacher and the
learners as a bilingual space (Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004), CS largely involved
the use of two languages at the same time. The register of the language in which CS
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took place was also scrutinized to establish whether it was formal or informal, standard
or dialect. Since the classroom is the setting where the speech act takes place, there are
certain expected norms or social rules that govern the event and the participants’
actions and reactions, usually formal in nature. Therefore, the analysis sought to
establish whether the expected norms were met or not.
Consequently, in applying Hymes’ model, the following were taken into account: As
the data were collected in a formal occasion (lesson), its language is expected to be
largely formal. The teachers and the learners are the participants who should perform
the role of speaker and listener in turns throughout the speech event. If CS were used
in a situation such as this one (a formal learning situation), it was expected to be used
to present educational material pertaining to the lesson.
7.3 PRESENTATION FORMAT OF THE ANALYZED DATA IN THE
PRESENT CHAPTER
The analyzed data are presented in two main categories, namely analysis of the data
from the non-language classes (content classes), and the analysis of the data from the
language classes. The former are Biology, Home Economics and History. The latter
are language and literature in English as well as Setswana. The reasons for the
selection of these subjects in this manner have already been explained in Chapter Three
(cf. Section 3.5.2).
The English translations of the CS forms are given in each case. The researcher opted
to present the translations of the utterances made instead of using transliteration for
easier understanding of the meanings portrayed. For easy identification of the CS
forms, the data are presented as follows: In the extracts from the lessons of subjects
taught in English, the CS forms that appear in Setswana are in bold; and the English
translations in italics. Conversely, in the extracts from Setswana lessons, the CS forms
that appear in English are in bold, and the English translations are in italics. In all
instances, the non-CS utterances are in the (roman) Times New Roman font. In
analyzing each lesson, first the words that it contained were counted to determine the
amount of CS utterances. Mqadi (1990) used a similar method in investigating CS
among students at the University of Zululand.
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7.4 CS OCCURRENCE IN CONTENT SUBJECTS
The data from the classroom revealed that CS was used irrespective of the subject
taught. This was established through the calculation of the incidence of CS in the
lessons (cf. sections 7.4.1–7.4.3 and 7.5.1–7.5.2 below). The data revealed that even
though CS was used across the different subjects, it was more prevalent in nonlanguage subjects than in the language subjects. CS occured mainly from English to
Setswana during lessons taught in ‘English’, more especially during Biology, Home
Economics (Fashion and Fabric) and History lessons.
The number of CS utterances contained in each of the transcribed lessons for the three
content subjects is summarized below. The duration for each transcribed lesson is
indicated in brackets (also cf. Addendum C).
7.4.1 Transcription 1: Biology lesson
The lesson was a single period of 40 minutes’ duration. In analyzing the transcription
of this lesson, the following was observed:
The transcription contained 205 sentences made up of 2 700 words excluding inaudible
words; 1 751 were in English, and 949 were in Setswana. The longest sentence within
the text contained 44 words; out of which nine were in English while 35 were in
Setswana. Consequently, the ratio between the absence of CS and its presence within
this sentence was 23: 77.
7.4.2 Transcription 2: Home Economics lesson: Fashion and Fabric (F
and F)
The lesson was a single period of 35 minutes’ duration. In analyzing the transcription
of this lesson, the following was observed:
The transcription contained 211 sentences made up of 3 195 words. Two thousand
seven hundred and three (2 703) words were in English, while 495 were in Setswana
(17%). There were 198 instances of CS in the text, making up 15% of the text. The
longest sentence in the text contained 30 words; out of which 13 (44%) were in
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English, and 17 (56%) were in Setswana. Thus the ratio between the absence of CS
and its presence within the sentence was 44: 56.
7.4.3 Transcription 3: History lesson
The lesson was a single period of 35 minutes’ duration. The transcription contained
194 sentences comprising 2 842 words. Two thousand seven hundred and eighty eight
(2 788) of the words were in English, while 54 were in Setswana. CS instances
comprised only 10% of the text. The longest sentence contained 33 words, and only 3
(9%) of them were in a form of CS. Therefore, the ratio of CS in the sentence was 9:
91.
In addition, in all the lessons transcribed, the analysis revealed that greetings (at the
discourse-initiation stage) were exchanged mainly in Setswana irrespective of which
LoLT was used. If the lesson was taught in English, the use of Setswana in this way
fulfilled the instrumentalities function (forms and styles of the speech taking place, for
example, CS). Hence CS was used pragmatically to establish a relation between the
teacher and the class, as illustrated in Extracts 1, 2, and 3 below:
Extract 1: Biology lesson (greetings and lesson introduction)
The lesson was conducted by a female teacher; the level of the class was Form 4 in an
urban school. The topic of the lesson was Filtration.
Te: Dumelang.
Good morning.
C: Ee mma.
Yes, madam.
Te: A re tsweleleng bagaetsho.
Let’s continue (no direct translation)
We were discussing excretion, specifically in relation to the nyphron, gore
that
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how does the nyphron perform or what is the function of the nyphron in relation to (…)
formation. And remember, I told you that it is very important for you to know the
structure of the nyphron. Re a utwana?
Do we understand each other?
In the extract above, discourse initiation, which included the exchange of greetings and
the discussion of housekeeping matters, were mainly in Setswana. Here CS is used
pragmatically to perform a phatic function. By using Setswana at the beginning of the
lesson taught in “English”, the teacher is establishing contact and relation with her
class.
During the development stage of the lesson, CS in its different forms was used. The
act sequence comprised the use of CS; and the genre was determined by which
message the speaker wanted to transmit at each stage. The question Re a utlwana?
meaning Do we understand each other? illustrates the pragmatic use of CS in the
management of classroom discourse. These instances, together with its functions will
be discussed in detail in the subsequent sections (7.6 and 7.7)
Extract 2: Home Economics (F and F): (greetings, housekeeping matters and lesson
introduction)
The lesson was conducted by a female teacher; the level of the class was F 4 in a periurban school. The topic of the lesson was Design elements and principles.
Te: Dumelang.
Good morning.
C: Ee mma.
Yes, madam
Te: Selang dipampiri le bule le difensetere.
Pick up the papers (litter) and open the windows
[LEARNERS START TO PICK UP LITTER ON THE FLOOR AND OPEN WINDOWS.]
Te: Go siame, nnang ha hatshe. (
).
It is okay, you can sit down.
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[TEACHER THEN GIVES OUT HANDOUTS THAT FORM THE BASIS OF THE LESSON
OF THE DAY; LEARNERS TALK AMONG THEMSELVES IN SETSWANA BUT WHAT
THEY ARE SAYING IS INAUDIBLE.]
Te: Lothe le nale handout? (
)
Do you all have …?
C: Ee mma.
Yes, madam.
Te: Okay, now let’s begin. Our topic today is “Design Elements and Principles”
[CLASS LISTENS ATTENTIVELY.]
In the extract above, the discourse initiation, in the form of exchange of greetings and
discussion of housekeeping matters, including the opening part of the lesson, was done
entirely in Setswana. In addition, borrowing (Kamwangamalu, 2000) was used
through the use of the words dipampiri, meaning paper, and difensetere, meaning
windows. The two words have no original Setswana equivalents and are integrated
fully into Setswana vocabulary. (The concept of reading and writing on paper was
acquired from the British colonialists, and the housing design with windows was also
foreign to Setswana culture). Although the latter has a Setswana equivalent
diokomela-bagwe, literally translated to mean those that are used to watch son-inlaws to be (presumably when they visit discreetly), it is hardly used and, instead, it is
the borrowed form (from Afrikaans) that is always used. The Setswana version occurs
only in written texts as they are formal in nature.
Extract 3: History (greetings and house-keeping matters)
The lesson was conducted by a male teacher in an urban school; the level of the class
was F 5. The topic of the lesson was The colonization of the Cape by the Dutch.
Te: Dumelang.
Good day (it was midday)
C: Ee rra.
Yes sir.
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Te: Cleanang blackboard.
Clean the blackboard
[A LEARNER VOLUNTEERS TO CLEAN THE CHALKBOARD.]
Te: Dira ka bonako.
Be quick
Te: (
) How they responded to the Portuguese attempt to colonize their kingdom;
moving onto the Portuguese showing interest in the (
) kingdom which was then
under the leadership of Queen Ntsinga. And since they staged some campaigns against
the colonization (
), but in the end, the Portuguese were nevertheless able to colonize
Angola. And then you know that Angola was a colony of Portugal. Now we are to
look at a different story here which is the colonization of the Cape by the Dutch. To
start with, maybe I could have (
). To start with, from which country are the Dutch?
C: [SILENCE]
In Extract 3 above, discourse initiation (lines 1 and 2) was in the form of greetings
exchanged entirely in Setswana, even though the period was for a subject that was
taught in English. During the discussion of house-keeping matters, CM and borrowing
were used (line 3) in the form of the main clause ‘cleanang blackboard’. The former is
made up of the English verb stem –clean- + –ang (Setswana suffix) which denotes
plural. Blackboard is an example of borrowing proper (Kamwangamalu, 2000).The
word is used in its original form and shows no sign of linguistic adaptation to Setswana
because it denotes a concept foreign to Setswana culture. It has also become fully
integrated into Setswana vocabulary. Alternatively bolekeboroto may be used, which
is also an example of borrowing proper but with its origin from both English and
Afrikaans (boleke meaning black, boroto from Afrikaans bord. As ‘school fees’, the
word blackboard is associated with formal schooling that was acquired after the arrival
of the Europeans. When the formal part of the lesson began, the teacher switched back
to English, but engaged minimal CS during the development stage of the lesson.
Discourse closure was in English only. Once the lesson ended, the learners
immediately conversed among themselves in either Setswana or Ikalanga.
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In all three the excerpts above (Extracts 1, 2, and 3), each teacher initiates the
discourse in the form of greetings conducted in Setswana. In response, the learners
also use Setswana. Furthermore, in excerpts two and three, each teacher uses Setswana
to discuss house-keeping matters before moving onto the formal part of the lesson,
which is the introduction. The data, therefore, show that teachers consider the
exchange of greetings and the discussion of house-keeping matters as the informal part
of the lesson, hence the use of Setswana. CS in this way is used pragmatically to
perform a phatic function. In addition, Setswana is used to call the class to order
before the formal part of the lesson begins.
Similarly, at discourse closure (cf. Extracts 4 and 5 below), the teachers of Biology and
Home Economics respectively switch again to Setswana to wind up the lesson and
dismiss the class. Likewise, the teachers used CS here pragmatically to perform a
phatic function to build a relation with the learners.
Extract 4: Biology (final stage of the lesson)
Te: Bele e ledile?
Has the bell rung?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
Yes, madam.
Te: Go siame.
It is okay. (Implies that the lesson has ended and the learners may leave for the next
lesson.)
In the extract above, the teacher CS to Setswana at discourse closure (lines 1 and 3)
and also uses borrowing proper in the form of the word bele (line 1), meaning bell
(English). The latter is also a foreign concept derived from the English word bell. The
learners taking a cue (referred to as the key) (Hymes, 1974) from the teacher, also
respond in Setswana by using emblematic CS ee mma (line 2) semantically, to mark
agreement.
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Extract 5: Home economics (F and F)
Te: E chaile?
Is it time up?
C: Ee mma.
Yes madam.
Te: Go siame, retla tswelela next time.
It is okay, we shall continue ….
In the extract above, the teacher closes the discourse by CS to Setswana (lines 1 and 3).
In addition, borrowing is also used in the form of chaile with its origin in the Zulu
language (later explained in section 7.8 Table 7.4) under the discussion of nonce
borrowing. As in Extract 4, the learners in the History class also respond to the
teacher’s question in Setswana through the pragmatic use of ee mma (line 2) to show
agreement.
In both cases, CS is used pragmatically to perform a phatic function or to signal an
informal text. Therefore, Setswana seems to be the language to use when
communicating social matters in the classroom. This signifies that the end of the
lesson is also considered to be informal, hence the teachers’ use of Setswana. The
same strategy is, however, not used by the History teacher who winds up his lesson in
English (cf. Transcription 3, Addendum C). In fact, this particular lesson was one of
the very few among the lessons of the non-language subjects in which the minimal use
of CS occurred.
In each class, the learners switched over to Setswana or Ikalanga as soon as the teacher
signalled that the lesson had ended. This indicated that the use of English was viewed
by the learners as limited to formal use during the course of the lesson, and that their
HLs could take over as soon as the speech act had ended.
Because the teachers were aware that English was the expected language to use when
delivering their lessons, they switched over to English at the beginning of the formal
275
part of the lesson (cf. Extracts 1and 2). However, this practice was short-lived as the
teachers switched back to Setswana as the lessons progressed. During the course of the
lesson, the content of the lesson was delivered in both English and Setswana.
Throughout the lesson, the same style of alternating the use of English and Setswana
was maintained as illustrated in Extracts 6 and 7 below:
Extract 6: Biology lesson (development stage)
Te: Yes, ke tlhalositse hela gore when the blood gets into the kidneys, and especially
I explained that
around the gonerius, e e leng gore … that is a group of capillaries, we expect the
which is
pressure to be a bit high; especially for the filtration of the liquid parts. Ga ke re?
Isn’t it?
C: [SILENCE]
Te: Ne ka le bolelela sekai sa gore, le gakologelwe gore le wena hela hao lebelela
the … the hosepipe ka ha e ntseng ka teng, gore o kgone gore metsi a tswele ko nte
ale mantsi; you need to open the tap …?
I gave you an example that, you should remember that when you look at … how it is
made, to be able to pump a lot of water …?
C: Thatanyana.
A bit more.
Te: Thatanyana, ga ke re?
A bit more, isn’t it?
C: Ee.
Yes.
276
In the extract above, both the teacher and the learners are participant, taking turns in
the speech event (Hymes, 1974). However, the teacher is the initiator of the discourse
and the learners assume the role of the audience. CS is used semantically mainly to
deliver the lesson content. The use of CS in this way also signals group identity
(Akindele & Letsoela, 2001; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Flowers (2000, in Moodley,
2001; Kamwangamalu, 2000 b; Kieswetter, 1995; Nwoye (1992, in Moodley, 2001;
Molosiwa, 2006; Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993a). The teacher uses a language
that is common to her and her learners. The identity could either be ethnic or cultural.
Within Myers-Scotton’s Markedness Model (1988, in Myers-Scotton, 1993a), the use
of CS in this way indicates that it is a sequential unmarked choice. The teacher CS to
Setswana as the national language and is therefore understood by the majority of the
learners in the class, not because she cannot express herself fluently in English. Here
the purpose (ends) (Hymes, 1974) of CS is to get the learners to participate in the
lesson and to ensure that learning takes place, as well. However, CS is also a marked
choice (Myers-Scotton, 1993a, Kamwangamalu, 2000b) in this instance. In a Biology
class, there are both citizen and non-citizen learners because it is a compulsory subject.
Some of the non-citizen learners understand Setswana and others do not. In this
regard, the use of Setswana in this class excludes those learners who may not fully
understand Setswana from the linguistic exchange. CS as a marked choice is therefore
a “double-edged sword” (Kamwangamalu, 2000). It includes and also excludes.
However, the exclusion in this instance seems accidental rather than a deliberate act.
Furthermore, the use of CS to repeat the material already stated through the repetitive
use of thatanyana, meaning “a bit more’’, shows its semantic use to show emphasis
(Gumperz & Hymes, 1986; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997, Gila, 1995; Hoffman (1991, in
Tshinki, 2002; Kieswetter, 1995; Ncoko (1998, in Moodley, 2001); Moodley, 2001;
Tshinki, 2002). The teacher repeats the word thatanyana used already as an answer
by the class to emphasize the point already made. Similarly, the use of Ee signifies the
use of CS to show agreement, as previously explained.
Extract 7: Home Economics (F and F) lesson
Te: (
) So, in design elements … eh … because you know we are also Fashion and
Fabric students, we are going to be designing certain articles. Eh … eh … or … you
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can design kana ke table-cloth or what; it all depends on what you want to design. But
… or it is a eh … the design elements eh … for you to start designing, you have to
know these design
elements … because as you design, you sit down … you use your what? You use your
… you use your hands. Ga ke re? You cannot just design from the air, you have to sit
Isn’t it?
down and use your hand to draw … or design whatever you … you want to design. So,
when you look at the handout … the handout that we have, ga ke re everyone has
(no direct translation here)
a handout; ga ke re?
Isn’t?
Te: So, we are going to use this handout for our discussion, mm? (
). So, the first
statement ya re “design is a selection and arrangement of lines … state of both same
says
colour and shape.” So when you design, it means you have to think of the lines.
Ga ke re?
Isn’t it?
Te: So, if this side where it is, ha o lebelela jaana, ekare (
) ga ke re? So these
lines
When you look like this,
isn’t it?
they will be used for such designs such as maternity dresses, so that they can help to
hide the tummy; ga ke re? Ee. And also when you look like ba bua gore the
isn’t it? Yes.
They say that
“impression of femininity”, ha o apere these … these … eh … curved lines,
When you’re dressed
di go dira gore o nne full!
they make you to look
You should look like a real … mm! a real woman, he! Wa bogologolo!
From the olden days!
They want you to look full full gore o bonale gore o mosadi. Heh? Yes! This attire
so that you look like a real woman.
ya bo … ya bo… gatwe bo mang? Mm … boo … bo Nightingale … gone hoo.
of the … of the
What they used to wear, they’re called? Mm … the … the
Nightingale era … thereabout. They would wear full dresses ba tsenya what you call
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Inserting
fastening gail mo teng.
inside.
A fastening gail was a petticoat of some sort. And this petticoat e ne e rokiwa e nna
it was sewn to appear
full full! Go ne go dirisiwa le (
They were using
jaana. (
somehow
) ga ke itse a go dirisiwa le diwaere mo teng
I don’t know if they also used wires inside
) so that ha o apara, as she walks, heh! Go bo go bonala gore ke mosadi
When you dress up (exclamation!) It must be seen that it is a woman
yo o full because of these curved lines. Heh! … Gakere le a itse jaaka Baherero …
who is
(exclamation) (no translation) you know how the Baherero ...
let’s give an example, yes, the way they dress, heh! Ha ba tswa kwa [TOUCHING
(exclamation!) The upper bodice of their dress
HER UPPER BUST] go thaete! Ga ke re? Heh! Then when they get here [TOUCHES
is tight! Isn’t it?
HER WAISTLINE] it flares. Ga ke re? Le tsone di line tse di khevang (curved lines)
Isn’t it? Even the curved lines
tse. So, they really look like (
those
), heh? heh?
(exclamation)
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
Yes m’am.
In the extract above, like in Extract 6, the teacher is the active participant who is the
main speaker, and the learners are passive participants whose main role is that of
audience. Their participation is only in a chorus ee mma to signal that they are
listening. CS is used mainly to deliver the lesson content. The same explanation
provided about the use of CS by the Biology teacher above equally applies here. It is
both an unmarked choice and a marked choice. On the one hand, the teacher’s use of
Setswana does not signal an inability to express herself in English, but to show group
identity with her learners (unmarked choice). On the other hand, CS may exclude
those learners not proficient in Setswana, few as they may be (marked choice). In
addition, to CS, the teacher also makes use of CM and borrowing as follows:
279
Setswana
English
Bo Nightingale
Nightingale and company
diwaere
wires
go thaete
it is tight
diline di khevang
lines which are curving or curving lines
The use of bo Nightingale to refer to Florence Nightingale (the first professional nurse)
and her fellow nurses, is unusual in English. Setswana makes use of the prefix bo- to
indicate the plural form of names. Therefore, bo Nightingale is a result of the teacher’s
use of CM to refer to Ms Nightingale and the nurses of her time. On the contrary,
English does not show the plurality of names in this way (by using a prefix). It uses a
suffix –s such as, for example, the Crwafords, referring to the Crawford family. In
addition, the noun diwaere is a borrowed word made up of the Setswana prefix di- that
denotes the plurality of proper nouns and a borrowed noun waere, meaning wire
(English). Although diwaere has a Setswana version, tshipi e tshesane, it is the
borrowed form that is commonly used and the word has now been assimilated
phonologically, morphologically and syntactically (Bokamba, 1988, and Herbert, 1994
in Kieswetter, 1995) from English (the guest language) into Setswana (the host
language).
Borrowing has also been used in the phrasal verb go thaete, meaning it is tight. The
preposition go- in Setswana precedes verb stems if the subject of the sentence refers to
a non- living thing and means it; thaete is a borrowed form meaning tight. Although
this phrasal verb is borrowed, it has been assimilated morphologically into Setswana.
It is an example of nonce borrowing because its use is not constant in Setswana. The
Setswana version go tshwere thata or go gagametse is commonly used instead.
Similarly, the use of di laene tse di khevang denotes the application of borrowing.
Di- is a Setswana prefix as explained above. Here it precedes the noun laene, meaning
line to form a noun in its plural form, dilaene (lines). This word is an example of
borrowing proper because it has been assimilated morphologically, syntactically and
lexically into Setswana. It has its Setswana version, ditselana, but it is the borrowed
form that is commonly used. In addition, di khevang, meaning which are curving is
a relative clause that is an example of nonce borrowing also assimilated
morphologically into Setswana. It is much more commonly used than its Setswana
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version tse di matsoketsoke, so it is also more of an example or a better one of
borrowing proper than nonce borrowing.
The two extracts above show that although the LoLT was English, there was heavy use
of Setswana during these lessons, mainly to deliver the academic content. In both
cases, though the main language of discourse is supposed to be English, it is clear that
Setswana is the ML and English is the embedded language consistent with
Kamwangamalu’s Matrix Language Principle (MLP) (Kamwangamalu, 1999) and
Myers-Scottons’s Matrix Language Frame (MLF) (Myers-Scotton, 1993a) models. CS
patterns show that Setswana syntax remains unchanged but that of English is violated.
The inflections used in CM and borrowing explained in the preceding paragraphs are
clear indications of the role of Setswana and English in the discourse.
Furthermore, in both extracts, emblematic CS in the form of ga ke re has been used
pragmatically to establish contact between the teacher and the class. Its use also is a
way for the teacher to check if the class understands the lesson material. Because of its
frequent use that borders on habit, at times the learners choose to remain silent even if
the teacher uses it; or they may respond in the affirmative even if they have not fully
comprehended the lesson material. Its use gives the superficial impression that
learning is taking place when the reverse may be true. Arthur (2001: 62) also referred
to the use of tag switches such as this one as ‘a chorus of minimal response’. The
teacher also made use of the emblematic CS kana (Extract 7, line 3) semantically
meaning or to denote alternative.
In addition to delivering the lesson content in Setswana, non-educational utterances
made during the course of the lesson such as ‘asides’ or ‘admonitions’, were also made
in Setswana as shown in the extract below:
Extract 8: Biology lesson (example of CS use to make an aside)
Te: Ke gore gatwe le dirang lebati la lona batho!
What is wrong with your door, people! [TEACHER EXPRESSES EXASPERATION]
C: (
)
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Te: Ee, a ko o le tshegetse.
Yes, please wedge it.
Here the teacher is commenting about the swinging door that is making a disturbing
noise; and she orders one of the learners to support it to stop it from swinging back and
forth. The teacher uses CS to convey her personal feelings (she is irritated by the noise
of the swinging door) and not to deliver the subject content. CS is used pragmatically
to perform a phatic function (Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993a). Both the teacher
and the learners are respectively participant and audience.
Similarly, in Extract 9 below, the teacher expresses her frustration and impatience with
the class for not responding to her question; and she threatens to take punitive
measures against them. As in the paragraph above, the teacher used CS not to deliver
the subject content but to display her emotions. The Ends of the discourse (Hymes,
1974) is to get the learners to become active participants in the learning process.
Similarly, CS is used pragmatically to perform a phatic function (Moodley, 2001;
Myers-Scotton, 1993a).
The outcome of the teachers’ threat to punish the learners prompted them to participate
(cf. Transcription 1).
Extract 9: Biology lesson (example of CS use to admonish a class)
Te: Ee, nkarabeng! Ke tsaya dustara ke le kobonya menwana yone e!
Yes, answer me! I will take the duster and hit you on the knuckles!
7.5 CS OCCURRENCE IN THE LANGUAGE SUBJECTS
CS also occurred during the lessons of language subjects. However, as expected, its
use was minimal compared to its use in non-language subjects. During English (L and
L) lessons, CS occurred from English to Setswana. Conversely, during Setswana
lessons, CS occurred from Setswana to English.
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During the English Language lessons, there was minimal CS use and often Setswana
was limited to the exchange of greetings at discourse initiation stage when the lesson
began. Thereafter, the main language of communication was English, including at
discourse closure. Where there was CS use, it was limited to intra-sentential CS or, if
it was inter-sentential, it was to reiterate a point already made, as, will be demonstrated
later in the text.
The minimal use of CS during the English Language lessons signified that acquisition
of English as a language, and therefore, language development was the primary target.
The form of CS most frequently used was emblematic CS in the form of the tag ga ke
re; which has no direct English translation, but it is used to ensure that the listener is
following what is being said; or is in agreement. CS in such an instance is used to
perform a pragmatic function. This tag occurs in the speech of Setswana speakers
regardless of which language is in use, hence its frequent occurrence during the lessons
of the different subjects.
The amount of CS contained in the transcription of each of the lessons of the two
language subjects are summarized below:
7.5.1 Transcription 4: English Language lesson
The lesson was a single period of 40 minutes’ duration conducted by a male teacher in
a peri-urban school. In analyzing the transcription of this lesson, the following were
observed:
The transcription contained 110 sentences comprising a total of 1 395 words. These
were actual utterances of the teacher and the learners while the parts that were read
from the comprehension passage were not transcribed. There were only four instances
of CS in the form of single words and / or phrases in the entire transcription.
Therefore, there was minimal CS which accounted for only 0.6% of the text. It was
not possible to express the amount of CS within a sentence as it was almost nonexistent.
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7.5.2 Transcription 5: Setswana lesson
The lesson was a single period of 35 minutes’ duration conducted by a male teacher in
a peri-urban school. The amount of CS contained in this lesson is summarized as
follows:
The transcription contained 263 sentences with a total of 2 535 words. Two thousand
three hundred and eighty six (2 386) words were in Setswana while 154 were in
English. There were 113 instances of CS; which is 6.45% of the text. The longest
sentence contained 73 words; with only three switches in the form of borrowing proper
and CM. Therefore, only 4% of the words were in the form of switches.
Consequently, the ratio of the absence of CS and its presence within the sentence was
96: 4.
In addition, the following extracts illustrate the act sequence (Hymes, 1974) of the
English Language lesson and the Setswana lesson. The act sequence also shows the
stage at which CS is used in each lesson.
Extract 10: English Language (discourse initiation)
The topic of the lesson was a comprehension exercize entitled Man and Animals. The
discourse initiation was in the form of greetings, then housekeeping matters and the
lesson introduction.
Te: Dumelang.
Good morning.
C: Good morning sir.
Te: Okay, I asked you to read this paper over the weekend and I believe you did.
Remember (….. ) and I want us to look at the questions particularly the vocabulary
section in question number eight, and after that we are going to look at the summary
question and identify the summary points. Basically, we are going to identify the
summary points after we have looked at the vocabulary exercize. Are you sure we are
together?
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C: (in chorus) Yes.
In Extract 10 above, at discourse initiation stage, greetings were exchanged in
Setswana even though the LoLT was supposed to be English. Like in the other similar
instances above (cf. Extracts 1-3), CS is used here to perform a phatic function. The
teacher uses it to establish relation with the class. Instead of responding in Setswana,
the class uses English. It seemed the unwritten rule was well understood among the
learners that communication was in English only because the lesson was the English
Language lesson. Then the teacher reverted to English to discuss housekeeping
matters such as getting the class’s attention in preparation for the lesson delivery (line
3). This signified that the teacher was mindful of the importance of using English for
language development purposes. Similarly, when the formal part of the lesson began,
its introduction was also presented in English (lines 4-7). English was used
semantically to present the lesson material. Thereafter, the discourse was in English
only, including the delivery of the lesson content as well as using English for phatic
function (line 7):
Te: …Are you sure we are together?
Through the use of the question above, the teacher is checking if the class clearly
understands the activity of the day.
The rest of the lesson was conducted in English with minimal CS during the
development stage (cf. Extract 11 and 12 below).
Extract 11: English Language lesson (the development stage)
Example of the use of intra- sentential CS and inter-sentential CS
(Lines 36-39)
Te: Alright, (
) it could be attacked or destroyed jaaka eng? Despite this, there was
Like what?
a great disadvantage (…) disadvantage, sorry, in being a totem. Bane ba bua nnete.
They were telling the truth.
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“Grave” disadvantage. What other words can we … can we … give … that means the
same or is the same as the word ‘grave’?
In extract 11 above, jaaka eng? meaning ‘like what’, is a form of intra-sentential CS in
the form of a question. It is used to complete an English sentence. The teacher used
CS in order to probe the learner as a follow-up to the discussion of the comprehension
exercize. He is trying to get more information from the learners. CS is used, therefore,
to draw information from the learners. By so doing, the teacher is encouraging the
learners to participate in the lesson. Here CS use is due to the nature of the topic being
discussed (Blom & Gumperz in Gumperz and Hymes, 1986, Eldrigde (1996, in
Kamwangamalu, 2000); Gxlishe (1992, in Moodley, 2001); Hoffman (1991, in
Tshinki, 2002); Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993a; Tshinki, 2002).
As the topic of the comprehension is based on the Tswana culture, the teacher found it
fit to CS to Setswana. Bane ba bua nnete, meaning ‘they were telling the truth’, is an
example of inter-sentential CS used to show emphasis (Gumperz & Hymes, 1986;
Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Gila, 1995; Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki, 2002);
Kieswetter, 1995; Ncoko (1998, in Moodley, 2001; Moodley, 2001; Tshinki, 2002).
The teacher CS to Setswana to emphasise a point already made in English. Here CS is
used pragmatically to show emphasis. The CS form is in the form of a complete
sentence that follows another sentence constructed in English only. In the same lesson,
the teacher uses emblematic CS in the form of the tag ga ke re as illustrated in Extract
12 below.
Extract 12: English Language lesson (development stage continues)
Example of emblematic CS use
(Lines 81-89)
Te: Aha! … she says were ‘introduced’! No, it’s not, it’s not aaa …, what is that word?
… It’s not ‘displayed’ not ‘displayed, ha? Did you say the … the circus? … Okay,
would you say the circus’ acts were ‘displayed’ in which the strength of animals were (
) dominated? Aah, it’s not the most appropriate word in this case … mmh? You
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talked of devised, what did you talk of devising things in … thee … from our …
what’s this? Science what?
Ln 9: In the science lessons
T: Science lessons, ga ke re?
Isn’t it?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ee..!
Yes!
In Extract 12 above, ga ke re (line 88) is an example of emblematic CS used by the
teacher to seek confirmation from the class that they agree with what he is saying or to
ensure understanding (Adendorff, 1993). Similarly, Ee is also an example of
emblematic CS used to confirm that the class is following what the teacher said.
Arthur (2001) referred to both forms of CS as ‘tag-switches’ used by the teacher to
prompt the learners to respond to the teacher’s monologue in the form of a chorus of
minimal responses (Arthur, 2001: 62). In both cases, CS is used to perform a
pragmatic function.
In Extracts 11 and 12, English was used mainly by both the teacher and the learners.
CS was hardly used. The learners never engaged in CS and only answered in English
whenever they were called upon to contribute to the class discourse. Only the teacher
had the prerogative to CS to Setswana during the lesson but, even then, the use of CS
was minimal. As in the previous extracts, the teacher is the active participant who
initiates the discourse; the learners are the audience and only participate at the
invitation of the teacher. At discourse closure, when the lesson ended, winding up was
done in English only (cf. Extract 13 below).
Extract 13: English Language lesson (discourse closure and housekeeing matters)
(Lines 124-129)
Te: ‘Despite’? … heh! … ‘Conscious of’, ‘despite their limitations’? … No. It has got
a different meaning altogether, but we can use it in … in that (
) alternative (
) of
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that part. Mmh? … conscious … conscious, what does that word mean, ‘conscious’?
… When you are conscious, you are…? The word begins with an ‘A’.
[BELL RINGS TO SIGNAL THE END OF THE LESSON.]
Te: Okay, it is time up so we shall finish next time. A … a … a! Don’t go yet boys
and girls. How many boys are in this class? And how many girls? [LEARNERS
REMAIN SEATED AS THE TEACHER COUNTS THE LEARNERS TO CONFIRM THE
NUMBER OF THE LEARNERS IN THE CLASS BY GENDER.]
Te: Thank you very much, boys and girls. [LEARNERS LEAVE THE CLASS FOR
ANOTHER LESSON.]
Extract 13 above represents the utterances made by the teacher at the end of the lesson.
After the bell rang, the teacher wrapped up the lesson by attending to some
housekeeping matters before he dismissed the class. This was done in English only
and, as in Extract 10 above, no CS was used. This showed that in an English Language
lesson, English was clearly understood as the LoLT with the prime objective of
assisting learners to acquire proficiency in English. The act sequence showed that the
discourse initiation was done in Setswana, then the teacher CS to English and
maintained the use of English almost entirely throughout the duration of the lesson,
including at discourse-closure stage, except for two instances of CS at the lessondevelopment stage. The almost exclusive use of English during the English Language
lesson was contrary to the practice observed during the lessons of content subjects. In
the latter, if a teacher used Setswana in class, the learners, in response, also used
Setswana. They seemed to assume that if a teacher addressed them in Setswana, they
also had to respond in Setswana.
CS was not confined to the lessons that officially were taught in English only. It was
used even during Setswana lessons, be it in grammar or literature lessons. However,
its use was minimal. The speech sequence was as follows: At discourse initiation,
greetings were always exchanged in Setswana; and the introduction of the lesson was
also in Setswana, with occasional use of borrowing (Extract 14 below). During the
development stage, minimal CS was used. Instead, the Setswana teachers used more
borrowing (nonce borrowing and borrowing proper) as well as CM than CS. The use
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of borrowing during Setswana lessons will be illustrated and discussed later in section
7.8. At the end of the lesson, discourse closure was in Setswana only (Extract 15). No
CS was used during the two stages as shown in the two extracts below.
Extract 14: Setswana lesson (discourse initiation)
The topic of the lesson was Debate (Ngangisano)
Te: Dumelang.
Good day.
C: Dumela morutabana.
Good day teacher.
Te: Ee, a re bue ka kgang ya school fees; la reng ka yone?
Yes, let’s talk about the issue of school fees; what do you say about it?
In Extract 14 above, the discourse initiation is in the form of greetings, followed by the
lesson introduction. Due to the nature of the topic that was introduced, borrowing was
utilized immediately, signalled by the phrasal noun school fees. The teacher chose to
use the borrowed expression instead of using a Setswana alternative lekgetho la sekole
or tuelo ya sekole because the borrowed version is used much more commonly than
the Setswana version. Although this phrasal noun shows no sign of adaptation to the
linguistic system of Setswana, in the view of the researcher it is an example of
borrowing proper instead of nonce borrowing (Kamwangamalu, 2000) because of its
frequent use in utterances made in Setswana. In addition, the concepts of formal
schooling and payment of school fees are foreign in the Setswana culture. Therefore,
an original Setswana word for school fees is non-existent, hence the use of the phrasal
nouns above. During the development stage, the teacher continually engaged the
different forms of borrowing (cf. Transcription 5 in Addendum C). As in the other
lessons conducted in English, the teacher is the active participant and initiates the
discourse. The learners initially assume the role of the audience; but later are active
participants while the teacher assumes the role of the listener (audience). At the end of
the lesson, discourse closure was in Setswana only as shown in Extract 15 below.
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Extract 15: Setswana lesson (discourse closure)
Te: O ka re nako ya rona e fedile. Go siame.
I think it is time up. It is okay.
[THE TEACHER PREPARES TO LEAVE THE CLASS WHILE THE LEARNERS
PREPARE FOR THE NEXT LESSON.]
The data thus far has revealed that CS is used in the classroom, irrespective of the
nature of the subject, but the extent of use varies according to the nature of the subject.
During the lessons of content subjects, CS was used throughout the lesson to
communicate formal (educational) and informal (social) matters. However, during the
English Language lessons, it was limited to greetings at the initial stage of the lesson
and was used minimally for lesson content delivery. On the other hand, during
Setswana lessons, CS was not used for discourse initiation and closure; its use was
minimal during the development stage of the lesson to communicate both formal and
informal issues. It was the use of the different forms of borrowing that was more
significant than the use of CS as alluded to earlier and discussed in detail in the
subsequent sections. Because the setting (classroom) is formal, the norms (Hymes,
1974) governing the speech act (lesson) and the participants (teacher and learners) and
the genre (Hymes, 1974) used were equally formal, hence the use of turn-taking as
seen in the extracts of the different lessons. However, the degree of formality is
decided by the teacher as the director of the events in the classroom.
7.6 THE FORM (NATURE) OF CS USED IN THE CLASSROOM
Evidence from the classroom shows that the different forms of CS are used in both the
content and the language subjects. These are inter-sentential CS, intra-sentential CS
and emblematic CS (Kamwangamalu, 2000), already explained in Chapter Two,
Section 2.3.1 a-c. The following extracts illustrate the use of each form of CS in both
content and language classes:
7.6.1 Content subjects
(i) Inter-sentential CS
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Extracts 16, 17, and 18 illustrate the use of inter-sentential CS during the lessons of
content subjects.
Extract 16: Biology lesson
Te: Why iron (name)? Kana nna ke rile o ne o mpha lebaka la gore ke eng o rialo!
… ……………. said you must give me a reason why you say so!
Why why why take in a lot of iron? … E go thusa jang?
……………………………………….How does it help you?
In Extract 16 above, the speaker (teacher) makes use of inter-sentential CS by
switching between sentences. The discourse is initiated in English, followed by
alternating sentences of Setswana and English, and finally switching again to Setswana
in the last sentence. In each case, she makes use of complete sentences such that the
discourse comprises two English and two Setswana sentences. The first instance of CS
is person (subject)-related as the teacher addresses the learner directly; the second
instance of CS is topic-related as the teacher specifically refers to the subject of
discussion. In both cases, inter-sentential CS is used to perform a pragmatic function.
In the first instance, the teacher explains to the learner that she expects him to provide
a reason for his answer (line 1). In the second instance, CS is used to pose a question
to the learner (line 2) to get him to substantiate his point. In both cases, the ends of the
speech event are geared towards getting the learners to participate.
Extract 17: Home Economics (F and F) lesson
Te: So, they combine both the vertical and the horizontal lines. So, they … they can
therefore, either increase or decrease an illusion of height or slimness. Ee depending
……………………………………………………………………….... Yes
………………….
on the degree of slant. So, let’s look at the first picture there … the first picture
[REFERS TO PICTURE IN THE HANDOUT]. Akere o bona gore e a slanta, ga ke re?
……………………………………… Isn’t that you see that it is slanting, isn’t it?
… but it doesn’t slant much; so this person on the … on the first picture appears …
appears what? Eh?
……………Yes?
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C: (silence)
In the extract above, the speaker initiates the discourse in English before switching to
Setswana to utter another sentence; and then switches back to English. In all instances,
CS is used to perform a pragmatic function. Emblematic CS (line 2) is used to show
agreement. In line 4, inter-sentential CS and emblematic CS are used to respectively
provide information and to give assurance. In line 6, emblematic CS is used to prompt
a response from the class.
Extract 18: History lesson
Te: Okay, the other problem was that the people who had been living with Jan van
Riebeek, whom we shall refer to as the Company servants, were not happy because the
conditions in which they lived were bad.
Ke bo mang ba ba nang le dikgomo ko ga bone?
Who (amongst you) have cattle at your home villages?
In Extract 18 above, the teacher CS in line 4. Inter-sentential CS is used pragmatically
by way of asking a question. As in Extract 16 above, the ends are to get the learners to
participate in the lesson and to respond to the teacher’s question.
In all three the extracts above, the speakers (teachers) initiate the discourse in English
before switching to Setswana. This shows that the teachers are mindful of the fact that
English is the official LoLT even though they also CS to Setswana.
(ii) Intra-sentential CS
The following extracts (6, 19, and 20) illustrate the use of intra-sentential CS during
the lessons of content subjects. In each extract, each speaker makes use of intrasentential CS within the same sentence to complete a sentence initiated in English and
then switching to Setswana to complete it. As in inter-sentential CS, the speakers seem
to be mindful that Setswana is playing a supporting role while English is the expected
LoLT.
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Extract 6 (earlier presented in this chapter) (lines 10-13): Biology lesson
Te: Yes, ke tlhalositse hela gore/ when the blood gets into the kidney, and especially
Yes I explained that
around the gonerius, e e leng gore/ that is a group of capillaries, we expect the pressure
which is
to be a bit high; specifically for the filtration of the liquid parts. Ga ke re?
Isn’t it?
In the extract above, intra-sentential CS is used to perform a semantic function. In
lines 1and 2, the teacher explains (semantic function) to the class what takes place
during the process of filtration. In line 3, emblematic CS (ga ke re) is used
pragmatically to seek assurance from the class that they are following the lesson, hence
it is performing a phatic function.
Extract 19: Home Economics (F and F)
Te: Straight lines, ee … parallel, e bidiwa go tweng? … vertical. Then you can have
which is .........., what is it called?
horizontal lines, you can have … slanted curves, and the like. So we have a variety of
lines which we use in … in designing. Ga ke re? And also we have … the shapes …
Isn’t it?
we have shapes; any other shape?
C: (silence)
In the extract above, intra-sentential CS is used pragmatically in the form of a main
clause e bidiwa go tweng? (line 1) to complete discourse initiated in English. As in
Extract 18, by using a question, the ends are to get the participation of the learners in
the lesson so that the teacher and the learners can continually take turns as speaker(s)
and listener(s). Similarly, the emblematic CS ee… is used to show agreement (the
phatic function) and to seek assurance from the class that they are following the lesson.
Extract 20: History lesson
Te: Ee…that’s why batho ba bo road transport … they advise people to have some
Yes…that’s why people of road transport
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eh … points where they may rest, just relax for maybe, thirty minutes and then you
continue (pause) with your journey.
In the first line of Extract 20 above, intra-sentential CS batho ba bo and emblematic
CS Ee … are used semantically to respectively provide information to the class and to
initiate the discourse in the form of an agreement.
(iii) Emblematic CS
Emblematic CS is the most frequently used form of CS in the form the emblematic
tag ga ke re (cf. Extract 17, line 4; Extract 19, line 3; and Extract 21 below, lines 3, 5
and 7). Emblematic tags usually appear finally in a discourse, depending on what
message the speaker wants to transmit. In all three the extracts cited above,
emblematic CS ga ke re is used finally in a discourse to perform a phatic function.
Extract 21: Home Economics (F and F) lesson
T: So, we are going to use this handout for our discussion, mm? (
). So, the first
statement ya re “design is a selection and arrangement of lines … state of both same
colour and shape.” So when you design, it means you have to think of the lines.
Gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
T: Think of the lines, gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
T: The lines can either be straight, they can either be… be curves. Gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
The examples cited above (cf. Extracts 16-21) demonstrate that the teachers of content
subjects make use of all three the forms of CS. Furthermore, it was observed that even
though the official LoLT is English, CS use is prevalent during their lessons.
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7.6.2 Language subjects
The language teachers also make use of all three the forms of CS during their
utterances as previously demonstrated and explained in Extract 11 (intra-sentential and
inter-sentential CS) and Extract 12 (emblematic CS) above.
However, during Setswana lessons, only two of the three forms of CS are used. These
are intra-sentential CS and inter-sentential CS as illustrated in Extracts 22 and 23
below. Emblematic CS appears in Setswana in the form of ga ke re (cf. Addendum C,
Transcription 5).
Extract 22: Setswana lesson
Examples of intra-sentential CS
Te: Ee … kana mme e a bereka ‘gender issue’, ga ke re? Ha gongwe ka puisanyo re
kgona gore ha re bua go hanwa gore bo mme ba ha kae jalo jalo. Nte re re ‘bong.’
Jaanong ha re lebeletse bong gantsi, batho ba ba neng ba re bana ba seka ba setwa ko
morago ke ba lesika la ga Efa; and there is a reason for that. Ga ke re?
Translated as:
Te: Yes … but it does work ‘gender issue’, isn’t it so? … Now when often looking at
gender, people who were saying pupils should not be lashed on the backside were the
descendants of Eve and there is a reason for that. Isn’t it so?
Ln 3: Nna ke tseela … ke tseela gore goromente o dirile sente hela. Ke raya gore re
ntse re tsena hela go sena madi. Jaanong a ba a ntsha … a ntsha … nnetane, … ke
bokae? … Ke five gakere? A madi a ne re tshwanetse gore re a duele; a re utwela
bothoko so, o dira sente; haa re re duele … ha a re re duele.
Translated as:
I take it … I take it that government did well. I mean that we were attending school
without paying any money. Now he took …he took… how much?... It’s five ( )? The
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money that we were supposed to pay; he felt sorry for us so, he is fine; when he says …
says we should pay.
In the extract above, the teacher uses intra-sentential CS through the use of the phrasal
noun gender issue (line 1) and the dependent clause and there is a reason for that
(line 4). Gender is a technical term now widely used to refer to either male or female.
The two examples of CS are used pragmatically to show prestige (Kieswetter, 1995;
Tshinki, 2002). The teacher CS as he presents the lesson material, but there is no
reason why he cannot use Setswana equivalents of the expressions used since they are
available. Gender issue translated to Setswana is kgang ya bong. And there is a
reason for that translated to Setswana is lebaka la teng le teng.
Furthermore, the teacher makes use of borrowing (Kamwangamalu, 2000). For
instance, the nouns Efa (Eve) and goromente exemplify borrowing or what
Kamwangamalu (2000: 89) refers to as borrowing proper. The former is a Biblical
name for the first female on Earth borrowed from English, and it has been adapted and
become accepted as a Setswana version of Eve. The latter (goromente) meaning
‘government’, is also a borrowed word from English that has now been assimilated
phonologically, morphologically, syntactically and lexically into Setswana language.
The concept of government as understood in Western culture did not exist in an
African setting such as in the then Bechuanaland (the country is known now as
Botswana since it attained its independence from Britain in 1966). Therefore, when
the system of a Western government was introduced in Botswana, the concept was
likewise borrowed and the word goromente is now widely used even though its
synonym puso exists. Goromente is used more as a personal noun, whilst puso is
used more as an abstract noun.
Borrowing proper is also used in the form of the counting noun five (line 5) here used
to refer to value in money. Instead of using its Setswana equivalent, botlhano, the
learner used the English version. The use of borrowing in this way is common in
Setswana as already explained in Chapter Two. The same learner makes use of a
transition word, so (intra-sentential CS) in line 7. Although this word has its Setswana
equivalent, ka jalo, the speaker chose to use the English version, and there was no
objection from the teacher.
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Extract 23: Setswana lesson
Example of inter-sentential CS)
Te: That’s very good! Go nale leina la mmega dikgang.
…………………! There is a name for a news reporter.
Te: Malatsing a go nale lefoko gatwe ‘ke a sua’. ‘Talk to my lawyer’. Gape go nale
eng?
These days there is a saying that ‘I sue.’…………….. Again what else?
In the extract above, CS has been used inter-sententially as alternate sentences are
‘formulated’ in English and Setswana. The teacher has used CS pragmatically to show
his level of education (Gibbons, 1983; Kieswetter, 1995; Moodley, 2001; Tshinki,
2002) and to show prestige (Kieswetter, 1995; Tshinki, 2002). In a Setswana class, the
LoLT is Setswana, and all the learners in this class are proficient in Setswana, as
explained previously in Chapter Four. Therefore, there is no reason why a teacher
should switch to English in a Setswana class as language barrier is not the issue. The
teacher CS to English to display that, like his colleagues who teach subjects taught in
English, he too can speak English, the prestigious language. In addition, the teacher
uses borrowing proper ke a sua, meaning, ‘I sue’. The concept of suing is foreign to
Setswana culture, hence it does not have a Setswana equivalent. Therefore, the word
sue has been adapted phonologically, morphologically, syntactically and lexically into
Setswana and it is used widely. Its use therefore, is more out of necessity than
prestige.
It was noted hat while there was an effort by the majority of the English teachers not to
CS and also to discourage the learners from CS to Setswana in class, the same attitude
was not observed in almost all the classes of the non-language subjects. For instance,
one of the English Language teachers explicitly stated that he does not condone the use
of any other language in class besides English (cf. Extract 24 below). Ironically, this
was the teacher who, on entering the classroom, greeted the learners in the local
language, Ikalanga. By initiating the discourse in the form of greetings by using
Ikalanga, his HL, and the HL for the majority of the learners (46%), the teacher used
CS pragmatically to establish group (ethnic) identity and to perform a phatic function.
The functions of CS in the classroom are discussed under Section 7.7 below.
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Extract 24: English Language lesson
Te: I told you that although I am Kalanga, the only language that I understand in
academic work is English. So if you are using any other language, you’re being unfair
to me.
The teacher implied that during the English Language lesson, he did not condone the
use of either Setswana or any other local language in class besides English. Therefore,
both the teacher and the learners were expected to communicate in English only. The
situation was slightly different during Setswana lessons. While some teachers CS or
engaged in CM and the different forms of borrowing, they ironically discouraged the
learners from doing the same. Evidence of this will be shown later Section 7.7.3
(below) when the functions of CS in a Setswana lesson are discussed.
7.7 FUNCTIONS OF CS IN THE CLASSROOM
The extent of CS use also revealed the functions (already discussed) for which it was
used. Observation revealed that during the lessons of content subjects, CS was used
mainly to impart knowledge and, to some extent, for social functions such as to obtain
cooperation from the learners, to seek their participation, and to encourage turn-taking.
During the lessons of the language subjects, CS was also used, although minimal, to
impart the content of the subject, but mainly for social functions (such as to seek class
cooperation and to encourage class participation in the learning process). Social
functions also positively contribute to learning.
Some of the functions of CS during the lessons of content subjects are discussed
below.
7.7.1 Content subjects
(i). Educational functions of CS
Extract 6 above illustrates the use of CS by both the teacher and learners in the
teaching and learning process. The extract shows a continuation of a lesson initially
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presented in English, but as the lesson progresses, the teacher switches to Setswana.
Thereafter, the alternate use of the two languages continues throughout the lesson. In
CS, the teacher may initiate the discourse in English and close it in Setswana. Because
of the teacher’s CS to Setswana, the learners understood this to mean that they, too,
could respond in Setswana. The teacher did not show any objection. CS was used by
the teacher and learners throughout the lesson. The same use of CS is observed in
Extract 7 above, as well. Similarly, the extract below also demonstrates the use of CS
in teaching and learning:
Extract 25: Home Economics (Fand F)
Te: And then expose those that are good, Ee! Ke a utlwala sentle?
Yes! Am I being understood well?
C: (in chorus) Ee.
Yes.
Te: Ee! Let’s not … let’s not just dress for the sake of it; let’s dress knowing that …
Yes!
gore rona we are fashion and design students. Re a itse jaaka go aparwa. (
that us
) And
We know how to dress well.
then we get to the horizontal lines. The horizontal lines … they create a side to side
movement. [DEMONSTRATES WITH HER HEAD AND EYES.] So, the horizontal
(
) ga ke re
(
) so it means gore (
isn’t it?
that
) ga ke re
isn’t it?
[STILL DEMONSTRATING SIDE TO SIDE MOVEMENT OF EYES.]
go raya gore matlho a gago a tsamaya jaana [IMITATES] side by side. And then go
it means that your eyes move like this
raya gore tsone they create what?
it means that
In the extract above, CS is used pragmatically to present the lesson content. In the first
line, the CS form Ke a utlwala sentle? CS is used pragmatically to perform a phatic
function; as well as Ee (in the next two lines) and ga ke re (in the seventh line). The
teacher is checking if the learners are following the progress of the lesson. The CS
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forms go raya gore matlho a gago a tsamaya jaana, and go raya gore tsone (in the
eighth and nineth lines respectively) are used pragmatically to explain the content of
the lesson. Although the CS form Re a itse jaaka go aparwa (line 4) shows the
pragmatic use of CS to perform the phatic function (to inspire learners when the
teacher says as Fashion and Fabric students they know how to dress well), nonetheless
its use is important in that the teacher is giving an analogy that is relevant to the subject
of the lesson so as to improve lesson understanding.
The prevalent use of CS during the lessons of content subjects implied that CS was
used mainly as a teaching strategy. The teachers employed CS on realizing that the
learners did not fully understand the lesson content or did not fully participate in the
lesson. It seemed that the primary concern of the teachers of these subjects was to
ensure that the learners understand the lesson content. In the view of the researcher,
ensuring that the learners attain proficiency in the official language of instruction (LoI)
seemed to be of secondary concern. Therefore, the teachers used CS and, by
extension, also allowed the learners to do the same.
(ii) Social functions of CS in the classroom
CS was also used to perform a number of social functions within the class, as outlined
below:
a. To exchange greetings at the beginning of the lesson (discourse-initiation stage)
as well as closing the lesson (discourse-closure stage), including dismissing the
class at the end of the lesson (cf. Extracts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 10 above).
The use of CS in this way was to establish a relation between the teacher and the
learners as explained earlier.
b. To perform housekeeping matters at the beginning of the lesson (cf. Extract 2, 3
and 13 above).
This was also meant to establish a relation between the teacher and the class.
c. To encourage class participation (cf. Extract 9).
d. To check the learners’ participation in the lesson (cf. Extract 6 above as well as
Extract 26 below).
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Extract 26: Home Economics (Fand F)
Te: If I put this colour, what effect will this colour have on …on what I want to
design?
Ke a utlwala sentle ga ke re?
Am I well understood?
e. To amuse the learners (cf. Extract 27, nineth line below):
Extract 27: History lesson
Te: What problems did you encounter on the way?
Ln 8: Hunger.
Te: Hah? … hah?
Ln 8: Hunger.
Te: Hunger? … What about you? (Name) …What about you? … Ha? Or were you
just okay from here up to Maun? [ADDRESSING Ln 8 AGAIN.] … Hah? … Any other?
What problems did you encounter in the longest journey that you have ever taken?
Ln 9: [MUMBLES] Hunger.
Te: Hah! … Hunger? Le tshwerwe ke tala le ha go ntse jalo.
You must be very hungry. [THE TEACHER THINKS THAT
LEARNERS CONSTANTLY MENTION HUNGER BECAUSE THEY ARE HUNGRY.]
C: [LAUGHTER.]
The use of the CS form le tshwerwe ke tala le ha go ntse jalo (line 9) is used to
amuse the learners and the outcome intended also is to get them to participate in the
lesson when the teacher realized that they were not responding to his question.
f. CS to display linguistic versatility (Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997;
Kamwangamalu, 2000) (cf. Extract 22 above).
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To overcome communication barrier caused by the learners’ lack of fluency in English
(cf. Extract 28 below).
Extract 28: History Lesson
Te: You’re saying they were to establish a fort from which soldiers would defend the
settlement at the Cape; … and also for it to be used as a hospital… now, what purpose
do you think that the hospital was to serve?
C: [SILENCE]
Te: Se ne se dirisediwa eng sepatela? Kana the answer is very obvious! Heh? Yes?
For what was the hospital used? But
[to Learner 15]
Ln 15: (
) [MUMBLES]
Te: A … a…. a! Raise your voice!
Ln 15: It was meant to attend to those people sailing to India.
Usually, the teacher initiates the discourse, be it an explanation or a question in
English, on recognizing that what he is saying may not be readily understood by the
learners, he / she then switches to Setswana, the language that the majority of the
learners understand, and repeats the same utterance.
In the extract above, the teacher posed his question in English, but due to lack of
participation by the learners, he decided to repeat the same question in Setswana to
ensure that the question is well understood. One learner responded to the question in
English even though the teacher had repeated the question in Setswana. It appears that
the question had been well understood. This form of response was an exception rather
than a norm. Often, if the teacher had asked a question in Setswana, the learners would
respond in Setswana. However, in this instance, the learner’s response was directed at
the lesson content and he seemed to have understood that English was the appropriate
language of communication during this lesson. From observation, this teacher CS less
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compared to the other teachers of the other content subjects. Consequently, the
learners also did not CS.
g. CS to show emphasis
The same example in Extract 28 can serve as an example of the use of CS to show
emphasis. The teacher CS to Setswana to repeat a question asked initially in English to
ensure that it is well understood by the learners.
h. CS as a strategy for neutrality
CS as a strategy for neutrality refers to when the speaker employs two codes at the
same time because he / she realizes that the use of each of the two codes has its own
value in terms of the costs and rewards that accrue with its use (Myers-Scotton, 1993).
That is, there are advantages and disadvantages for using both codes at the same time.
The speaker does not want to commit to only one code, but uses any of the two codes
whenever it is suitable.
Depending on the usage, CS as a strategy for neutrality can perform both educational
and social functions. This form of CS is common in the classroom especially during
the lessons of content subjects as illustrated in Extract 29 below.
Extract 29: Home Economics (F and F)
Te: Still tsone the rounded lines … e bua gore [REFERRING TO HANDOUT] what
they
it states that
will … will happen ba tlaa bo ba apara tsone di fastening gayles … tsone di
they will wear those
they the
fastening gayles tseo and give a complete curve. Ke gore they will be gathered jaana
those
That is
like this
[DEMONSTRATES] and then kwano go tshwara.
it is tight over here.
So that ha a tsamaya go bo go bona mongwe le mongwe.
When she walks everyone can notice.
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So, the rounded … eh … [READS FROM HANDOUT]
Te: So, imagine if I’m wearing rounded lines, how will I look like? Ke tla bo ke nna
tlougadi jaanong.
I would look like a she-elephant.
C: [LAUGHTER.]
In the extract above, the teacher CS back and forth between English and Setswana to
exploit the advantages that accrue when using each language to make her explanation
clearer. She is aware that if she can commit herself to one code, such as English, some
of the learners may not fully understand the lesson. Similarly, by using Setswana only,
she may not only be excluding the few learners who did not fully understand Setswana,
but she would also be violating the policy of using English as the LoLT in a subject
such as this one. The use of CS in this way can also be regarded as a display of the
teacher’s comfortable use of both languages.
The teacher also makes use of CM when she used the expression di fastening gayles
(line 2), referring to some dresses with tight-fitting, bodice-like tops worn by women
of the Victorian era. This phrasal noun is formed using a Setswana prefix di- followed
by the English adjective fastening to qualify the English noun gayles. As explained
earlier, English does not indicate plurality by using a prefix, rather the suffix -s as in
gayles marks the plural form. Therefore, it is not only CM that was used, but what
Kamwangamalu (2000) refers to as double-plural marking. However, the researcher
regards this as borrowing (explained earlier in Chapter Two, section 2.3.3). In
addition, even though the speech act (the lesson) is formal and, therefore, calling for
formal norms, the teacher also makes use of informal norms to raise the learners’
interest in the lesson as illustrated in lines 7-8 reproduced below:
Te: So, imagine if I’m wearing rounded lines, how will I look like?
Ke tla bo ke nna tlougadi jaanong.
I would look like a she-elephant.
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7.7.2 Language subjects (English L and L classes)
Although CS was used minimally during the lessons of language subjects, nonetheless,
where it was used, it served a number of functions. The following were identified as
functions of CS during English L and L lessons:
(i) Educational functions of CS
a. CS was used for teaching and learning (cf. Extract 11 above)
In Extract 11 above, CS is used to facilitate learning. In line 1, intra-sentential CS
(jaaka eng) completes a sentence that contains the lesson content. Because CS is used
to repeat the material already stated, its use is pragmatic. Similarly, in line 2 intersentential CS (bane ba bua nnete) is used pragmatically to emphasize the message
presented previously in the form of a complete English sentence. The two sentences
are used to deliver the content of the lesson. During the lesson, the learners’ utterances
are limited to brief answers in English, or responses denoting agreement or negation
through the use of either ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in a chorus. It appears that during the English (L
and L) lessons, the rule is well understood that participation on the part of the learners
is in English only. Once again, only the teachers have the prerogative to minimally CS
or even to employ other forms of speaking such as CM, or any form of borrowing. The
same dispensation is not extended to the learners. For instance, in one of the English
Language classes, a learner begged his teacher to allow him to relate his story in
Setswana instead of in English. According to the learner, he could not relate the story
well in English, and as a result its humorous side would be lost. The story was
culturally based, so the learner was of the view that he would not use the right English
words to relate it well. Regrettably, the learner’s request was not granted. The learner
therefore had to struggle to relate the story in English.
a. CS to repeat material already presented to facilitate learning
The extract below presents an example of the use of CS to repeat the lesson material
presented initially in English:
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Extract 30: Literature in English
The lesson was presented by a female teacher in a F 5 class at a peri-urban school. The
class was discussing a poem.
Te: It is also a couplet; couplet ga ke re ke two
It is two (English)
It has a couplet; two; di pedi.
they are two (English)
In the extract above (line 2), the teacher CS to provide the meaning of a couplet by
repeating what a couplet refers to in Setswana. By CS, she is assisting the learners
who may not know the meaning of couplet to understand. Here CS is used to facilitate
understanding that will promote learning.
(ii) Social functions of CS during English L and L
Besides the use of CS to facilitate teaching and learning, it is used also to serve social
functions in class. For instance, in Extract 31 below, CS is used humorously. The
lesson was for a Form 5 English Language class conducted by a male teacher in an
urban school.
a. Humorous use of CS:
Extract 31: English Language lesson
Te: I had asked you to finish your work; have you finished?
C: [SILENCE]
Te: Heh? [DEMANDING A RESPONSE FROM THE CLASS]
C: [SOME] We are finished.
Te: Are you finished or have you finished?
Ha o re ‘you are finished’ oraya gore o hedile.
When you say
you mean that you are no more (English).
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C: [LAUGHTER]
In the extract above, the teacher corrects the grammatically incorrect sentence that the
learner uttered; but he corrects it in a humorous way, prompting the rest of the class to
burst into laughter.
Because of the limited use of CS during English L and L classes, its functions are also
limited. However, the few examples cited above illustrate that minimal CS use served
both educational and social functions. The explanation for this situation could be that
the teachers of English were required to be exemplary in assisting the learners to
acquire a proficiency in English. This included teaching in English and also
encouraging their learners to speak English. The use of CS during their classes was
viewed as contrary to their mandate.
a. CS to exchange greetings
This point already has been explained (cf. Extract 10 above).
7.7.3 Functions of CS in a Setswana class
As alluded to already, CS in the classroom is not only confined to the lessons taught in
English. Evidence from the lessons observed also indicated that there was a minimal
use of CS during Setswana lessons, that is to say, the teachers often CS from Setswana
to English. However, its use occurred during the formal part of the lesson, as was the
case during the lessons of the subjects taught in English. None of the teachers
observed initiated the discourse in English when exchanging greetings or discussing
housekeeping matters with their classes. Similarly, at the end of the lesson, discourse
closure, including class dismissal, was in Setswana (cf. Extract 15 above). The use of
Setswana at the discourse initiation stage shows that the teacher was identifying with
the class, and signalling that they share the same linguistic system (group identity).
Furthermore, Setswana is seen as the appropriate language to establish contact with as
well as indicate the relation between the teacher and learners. The use of Setswana for
discourse closure also reminded the class that Setswana was the main LoLT.
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As is the case during the lessons of subjects taught in English, CS during Setswana
lessons was used to present the lesson content as well as to perform social functions of
educational value as demonstrated below.
(i) Educational functions of CS during Setswana lessons
The educational functions of CS during Setswana lessons were mainly to:
a. present educational material
CS during Setswana lessons was used to present the content of the lesson as previously
demonstrated in Extract 22 above. Similarly, in Extract 32 below, the teacher CS
between English and Setswana to present the lesson material.
Extract 32: Setswana lesson
Te: So, ke solohela gore mo debeiting le a itse set up ya teng. E nale melawana …
It’s formal mme puisanyo can be informal. Ha gongwe le go ntsha topic ya teng …
ke ntsha topic ke re ‘a re ngange’. Jaanong ngangisano yone e formal. Go ka twe
‘four kana yo o buang lantha five minutes’. Go nale mmaditsela (chairperson); le
tisetswa sethogo “paying school fees, discuss”. Ne ke bata le buisanya ka debate. A
re a utwana?
Te: So, I hope you know the set-up in a debate. It has a number of rules … It’s formal
but a dialogue / discussion can be informal. Sometimes even suggesting a topic … I
can suggest a topic and say ‘let’s debate’. Therefore, a debate is formal. It can be
suggested that a speaker may speak for ‘four or the first speaker may speak for five
minutes’. There is a Chairperson; you can be given a topic. “…”. I wanted you to
speak about a debate. Do you understand?
C: Ee.
Yes.
Te: Debate e nale mo go tweng rebuttal … rebuttal, it gets more points than the
introduction. Rebuttal e tsaya matshwao a mantsi ka gore e supa gore o ne o
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reeditse. It is very important go reetsa mo debating. That’s why in a debate it’s
very important gore go nne le rebuttal. Go supa gore o ne o reeditse. A re
thalogantse?
A debate has what is called rebuttal … rebuttal, it gets more points than the
introduction. Rebuttal is awarded a lot of marks because it shows that you have been
listening. It is very important to pay attention during a debate. That is why in a
debate it is very important that there should be a rebuttal. It shows that you have been
listening. Do you understand?
C: Ee rra.
Yes sir.
Te: O kare nako ya rona e fedile. Go siame.
It seems our time is up. Okay.
In Extract 32 above, the teacher is expected to use Setswana only, but he chooses to CS
back and forth between Setswana and English. However, while by doing so he may be
of the view that he is promoting lesson comprehension, the researcher is of the view
that CS in this instance is more of a barrier than a facilitator to learning. Not all the
learners may fully understand the meaning of rebuttal unless they are in a debating
club. CS here is used pragmatically to explain what the word rebuttal entails. In
addition, the nature of the topic being discussed also gave rise to the use of CS (Blom
& Gumperz, 1972, in Gumperz & Hymes, 1986; Eldridge (1996, in Kamwangamalu,
2000); Gxilishe (1992, in Moodley, 2001); Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki, 2002);
Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993; Tshinki, 2002). Perhaps the English terms were
better known than the Setswana ones. Even though rebuttal has its Setswana
equivalent kganetso ka mabaka, the teacher chose to use the English version. In that
regard, CS performs a number of social functions in the same extract, as well. These
will be discussed below (cf. Section 7.7.3 ii) (to follow). Similarly, other CS forms
below were used:
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It is formal (lines 1-2), can be formal (line 2), rebuttal, it gets more points than the
introduction (lines 7-8), it is very important (line 9), that’s why in debate it is very
important (line 9).
All these dependent and independent clauses can be expressed in Setswana. In
addition, the teacher makes use of CM and the different forms of borrowing. These
will be discussed in detail in a separate section (cf. Section 7.8) (to follow).
b. CS as a strategy for neutrality
Extract 32 above also serves as an example of the use of CS as a strategy for neutrality.
As explained previously, there are costs and rewards of using two languages.
Therefore, by CS between the two languages, the teacher is reaping the benefits but at
the same time he runs the risk of creating miscommunication in the process.
(ii) The social functions of CS during Setswana lessons
CS also performs a number of social functions in a Setswana class, viz:
a. To reinforce positively good response in the form of a praise to the participant (cf.
Extract 33, line 1 below).
Extract 33: Setswana lesson
Te: That’s it! Re ne re sa reetsane. That’s very good! A re re ne re sa reetsane.
We were not listening to each other.
He says we were not listening
to each other.
Ke kgalemile ga kae?...
How many times did I call you to order?...
Extract 33 above illustrates the social use of CS as a positive reinforcement. The
learner gave a correct answer, and in response, the teacher made use of That’s it and
That’s very good (line 1) as expressions which signify that he was happy with the
response that he got. The praise is meant to encourage and reward the participatory
behaviour of the participant.
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b. CS used to show the teacher’s level of education / to display linguistic
versatility
Because all the learners in a Setswana class understand Setswana fairly well, there is
no need for the Setswana teacher to switch to English during the lesson. However, it
seemed from the evidence from the classroom that Setswana teachers CS to English,
not because the learners could not understand, but perhaps to display their educational
level and to display linguistic versatility. By CS to English, the teacher seemed to be
reminding the learners that teaching Setswana did not mean that he / she could not
speak English. By the same token, the use of English in a Setswana lesson appeared to
be more of a demonstration of the teacher’s knowledge of the prestigious language,
English than to enhance understanding of the lesson content among the learners.
Extract 33 above is an example of the use of CS to display the teacher’s level of
education and his knowledge of English more than to simplify the material for the
learners. The teacher is displaying that he can speak English fluently as much as he
speaks Setswana fluently. The teacher uses CS to explain the difference between a
debate and a public address. These three concepts -- debate (ngangisano), public
address (puiso phatlalatso), and rebuttal (kganetso ka mabaka) -- all have Setswana
equivalents which could have been used. Therefore, the issue is not because his
learners cannot follow the explanation fully of what ‘a debate’ involves if it was made
in Setswana, but a subtle demonstration that teaching Setswana does not mean that one
cannot speak English fluently.
Extract 34 below contains a comment made by one of the Setswana teachers which
confirms the view that at times Setswana teachers use English in class, not because it
reinforces learning, but because the teacher wants to display his / her level of education
as well as his ability to speak the prestigious language.
Extract 34: Setswana lesson
Te: [TEACHER INTERRUPTS] A re bue ka Setswana. Ke itse sekgowa go go heta.
Let’s speak in Setswana. I know English more than
you do.
.
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Ironically, in the same lesson, the same teacher further said:
Te: He..? Le thola le re chaela mo le re “oaii, mo go ruta Setswana mo!” O kare
lona le ruta sekgowa.
You always scorn us saying, “oaii, (no translation) this one teaches Setswana!” As if
you, you teach English.
C: [LAUGHTER]
In the first utterance, the teacher orders the learner not to CS to English and instead to
use Setswana only because, according to the teacher, there is no need for the learner to
use English in a Setswana class as the teacher is more fluent in English than the
learner. The second utterance implies that the learners look down upon those teachers
who teach Setswana. Therefore, it appears the teacher’s use of English during a
Setswana class is a demonstration of his fluency in speaking English, like other
teachers who teach subjects taught in English. This implies that the Setswana teacher
somehow feels inferior in status to his colleagues whose subjects are taught officially
in English. Therefore, the teacher feels compelled to constantly remind his learners
that he too can speak English by CS during his lessons. What arises from this scenario
is that if the teacher of Setswana suffers from an inferiority complex due to the subject
he teaches, what effect does it have on the learners’ attitude towards his subject? This
issue will be revisited in Chapter Eight in the discussion of the study results.
c. CS used to show annoyance
In Extract 35 below, the teacher CS to English, the language of authority (Adendorff,
1993; Gila, 1995; Gxilishe (1992, in Moodley, 2001); Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997;
Kembo-Sure & Webb, 2000; Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993; Tshinki, 2002) to
show her annoyance at the learner who appeared not to be paying attention in class.
Extract 35: Setswana lesson
Te: This is the second time o sa concentrate mo classing.
This is the second time you are not concentrating in class.
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In the extract above, the teacher was delivering the lesson in Setswana. She then
realized that one of the learners was not paying attention. She posed a question to him
and when he failed to answer correctly, she then scolded him for not paying attention
during the lesson. Instead of using Setswana to express her displeasure at the learner’s
behaviour, she CS to English (in a raised tone) to initiate the discourse in order to
sound authoritative, and then CS back to Setswana in discourse closure. In addition,
she uses nonce borrowing and borrowing proper in the form of concentrate and
classing respectively. The first expression is a verb stem and its Setswana version is
reetsa. Therefore, the verb complement o sa concentrate is in the negative and its
translation is o sa reetse meaning not listening. Classing is an adverb of place
meaning in the classroom; and its formation is the English noun class + Setswana
suffix -ing. Therefore, classing is a result of borrowing proper. Class has a Setswana
version ntlo ya borutelo. However, it is the borrowed form which is commonly used
and the word has come to be grammatically integrated into Setswana although it is
restricted to spoken communication which is considered informal. Consequently,
instead of using the Setswana versions o sa reetse and mo ntlong ya borutelo, the
teacher chose to use nonce borrowing and borrowing proper respectively to convey the
same meaning; that the learner is not paying attention during the lesson.
7.8 USE OF BORROWING AND CM FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES
In this section, the use of borrowing (borrowing proper and nonce borrowing) and CM
during Setswana lessons are discussed.
7.8.1 Borrowing proper
Borrowing proper (cf. Chapter Two, section 2.3.3) refers to words which have been
borrowed from another language assimilated phonologically, morphologically,
syntactically and lexically into Setswana and have now come to be accepted as
Setswana words. The following are examples of words borrowed from English /
Afrikaans and have now been adapted into Setswana such that they are accepted as
Setswana words. These words appear in the transcription of a Setswana lesson (cf.
Transcription 5 in Addendum C):
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Table 7.1: Examples of borrowing proper (English origin)
Borrowing proper
Khansele
Goromente
Pase
Disekerese
Pherehere
Nnoto
Kopa
Fila
Original word (English / Afrikaans)
Council
Government
Pass
Cigarettes
Pepper
Naught
Copy
Feel
The qualitative analysis of the data from lesson observations revealed that during
Setswana lessons, there was more use of the different forms of borrowing and CM than
CS. At discourse initiation and closure stages, Setswana was used to establish the
relation between the teacher and the class and to affirm that it was the LoLT; but CS or
borrowing or CM occurred as soon as the formal part of the lesson began. For
instance, in Extract 14, line 3, the teacher immediately used a phrasal noun school fees
which is an example of borrowing proper instead of the Setswana version lekgetho la
sekole or tuelo ya sekole. The English version is widely used and has come to be an
accepted term when reference is made to ‘tuition fee’ in oral communication. Its use
cuts across the different educational levels of the speakers. The Setswana version is
restricted to written communication.
Smieja (2003: 89) refers to words, such as ‘school fees’and other words contained in
Table 7.2 below borrowed from one language and used in another language without
undergoing any morphological change as ‘loan words’. According to Longman’s
Dictionary of Contemporary English (1995: 841), a loanword is a word taken into one
language from another. However, the researcher is of the view that because of the
regularity in which they are used, these words are more of examples of borrowing
proper than of ‘loaning’.
The following are also borrowed words (borrowing proper) used throughout the
Setswana lesson (cf. Transcription 5):
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Table 7.2: Examples of borrowing proper used during the Setswana lesson
Numbers or amount in currency
Four hundred and fifty
Seventy
Five
Four
Five hundred Pula
One thousand Pula
Six hundred Pula
Three Pula
Period
Half-time
Weekend
five minutes
Term
Technology
Cell phone
Phone
Other terms
Debate
High Court
Fish and chips
Bacon
circle
Sorry
Very good
From the examples in the table above, it is evident that the teacher prefers to use the
English words in their original form instead of using their Setswana alternatives even
though many of them have direct translations in Setswana or even have well-known
Setswana equivalents. The English words used are deemed to be more precise and are
better known than their Setswana alternatives which are usually phrasal in form and
longer. Many of these words refer to numbers, period or duration, and even concepts
originally unavailable in Setswana, such as reference to amount in currency (money)
and technology (cf. Kamwangamalu, 2000). The exception with units of currency is
that, even though they resist adaptation to the borrowing language (in this case
Setswana), they have come to be used in a way that they are more of borrowing proper
than nonce borrowing. Borrowing is a normal occurrence in situations of language
contact. Throughout the rest of the transcription, there was more use of borrowing
proper than nonce borrowing or even CS. Borrowing was not unique to this lesson
only; other teachers of Setswana also used it as illustrated in Extract 36 below:
Extract 36: Setswana lesson:
The lesson was conducted by a female teacher in a F 5 class in a peri-urban school.
She was introducing the topic of the lesson which was puiso-batho (public address).
Te: Ke eng puisanyo? Ha gotwe speech sa gagwe se ne se le monate; go a bo go tewa
jang?
What is public address? When it is said his/her…was good; what is meant by
that?
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The teacher chose to use the word speech (borrowing proper), which is commonly
used in order to assist the learners to understand what puisanyo entailed.
Furthermore, as previously explained in Chapter Two, (cf. 2.3.3 and 2.3.4), although
Kamwangamalu (1997: 48) talks of double-plural marking or what Herbert, (1994, in
Kieswetter, 1995) call re-borrowing, in this study this concept was not used as it was
regarded to be the same form of borrowing proper. The words referred to as examples
of re-borrowing are in fact, borrowed words which have acquired a prefix that denotes
plural in Setswana as illustrated in the sentence below (obtained from the lesson of the
teacher referred to in Extract 36 above):
Te: … o tla bo o kwala dinotes.
… you will be writing notes
The noun dinotes is made up of Setswana prefix di- that denotes plural form and the
English noun notes; –s is an English suffix that denotes plural if affixed to a noun.
The word dinotes is commonly used in Setswana and has come to be accepted as part
of Setswana vocabulary due to a lack of an original Setswana word to refer to the same
thing. The reason for this being that note-taking, like reading and writing are concepts
synonymous with formal schooling which was acquired after the arrival of the
Europeans. Therefore dinotes is an example of borrowing proper in plural form
consistent with Setswana formation of plurals. The qualitative analysis of the data
showed that this form of borrowing is common in Setswana as indicated in the
following examples:
Di-classroom: Di- (Tswana prefix signifying plural for a noun) +classroom
= diclassroom (classrooms): noun
Topik-ing: Topik + Tswana suffix –ing = topiking
Laen-eng: Line + Tswana suffix –eng = laeneng
Class-ing: Class + Tswana suffix –ing = classing
Tafol-eng: Tafel + Tswana suffix –ing = tafoleng (Afrikaans)
Debating: Debate + Tswana suffix –ing = debating
The formation of the examples above involved affixing either a Setswana prefix or
suffix to a verb stem or to a borrowed noun (either from English or Afrikaans); and the
316
resultant new word could be a Setswana verb or noun or an adverb, yet the origin of
such a word is still recognizable.
7.8.2 Nonce borrowing
Nonce borrowing was used also during Setswana lessons but not as much as borrowing
proper as illustrated in the table below:
Table 7.3: Examples of nonce borrowing
Nouns
Order
Small house
Topic, set up
Adjectives / Adverb
In circles
Whether
Broad
Non-stop
Other concepts
Prioritization
Communication
Facilitation
Discussion
Rebuttal
Borrowing was not from English or Afrikaans only; in other instances the teacher used
words which can also be considered examples of borrowing proper, but originating
from different Bantu languages as shown in Table 7.4 below:
Table 7.4: Examples of borrowed words from other southern African languages
Borrowed words
Chaela (bad-mouthing)
Chaisa (knocking-off)
Ditaba (news)
Meaning
Talking to / about
someone without
respect
Language of origin
Zulu
Form of borrowing
Nonce borrowing /
Borrowing proper
Zulu
Sepedi (Northern
Sotho)
Borrowing proper
Nonce borrowing
Chaela is a corrupted version of a word originating from Zulu but have come to be
associated with Tsotsitaal. The Zulu word is chela, meaning ‘to tell’. This word can
be an example of either borrowing proper or nonce borrowing depending on who is
using it. If it is used by members of a specific group, then it is an example of
borrowing proper, but if it is used as a once off occurrence then it is an example of
nonce borrowing. Its Setswana version is bolelela. Chaisa is a Fanakalo word used to
mean ‘knocking off’. The word was coined by mine workers to describe a concept of
knocking off from a shift; it originates from the Zulu language shaya meaning “to hit a
gong” at the end of the shift. A concept of reporting for work and knocking off at a set
time did not exist in the African culture; hence mine workers came up with a word by
317
borrowing from Zulu to describe this new concept. Because of its frequent use in oral
communication, it has come to be accepted as a term meaning ‘knocking off’ and is an
example of borrowing proper. Its Setswana version is go ya lwapeng which is rarely
used. Ditaba is a Sepedi version for ‘news’ known as dikgang in Setswana. It is an
example of nonce borrowing because it is rarely used by Setswana speakers.
In all the instances indicated above, borrowing proper and nonce borrowing, and to a
limited extent CM, were used during the presentation of the lesson content. Their
abundant use not only signifies the supporting role that English plays during Setswana
lessons; but also signifies language contact (Kamwangamalu: 2000). In the classroom,
because English and Setswana are the main languages used, the instances of CS, CM
and the two types of borrowing described above mainly involve these two languages.
As has been demonstrated above and also in Tables 7.1-7.4 above, the majority of the
words used were borrowed largely from English and Afrikaans, except for a few
borrowed from Bantu languages like Zulu and Pedi. Therefore, the lists in the tables
above give credence to the assertion that there was extensive use of the different forms
of borrowing, especially borrowing proper and to some extent, nonce borrowing but
less of CS. This is evidence of the effect of English (and to some extent, Afrikaans) on
Setswana.
7.8.3 CM
CM, already discussed in Chapter Two (cf. Section 2.3.2), was used to a limited extent
as illustrated in the example below. The word Magomora is not a Setswana word and
it is specific to a particular social group, so its meaning would be understood only by
those within the said social group or familiar with the variety used by the social group.
*Magomora: Ma- (Tswana prefix signifying plural + Gomora
*’Magomora’ refers to people from the Biblical town of Gomorrah, but used here to
refer to a self-named social group of youngsters.
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7.9 SUMMARY
In this chapter, the qualitative data have been analyzed based on the concepts discussed
in Chapter Two (cf. Section 2.3); namely, CS and its different forms (inter-sentential,
intra-sentential and emblematic CS), CM, and the different forms of borrowing
(borrowing proper and nonce borrowing). The analysis revealed the extent of the
occurrence of CS during the lessons of both the content and the language subjects. The
role of CS in a teaching and learning situation, such as the classroom, was investigated
- both its educational and social role in the classroom. Furthermore, as expected, it
was revealed that CS was more prevalent in the content subjects than in the language
subjects; the teachers of English L and L employed CS the least; and that CM or any
form of borrowing were almost non-existent in their classes.
In addition, the analysis revealed that the use of borrowing proper and nonce
borrowing was prevalent in the classroom, and they have a role to play to fulfil
educational as well as social functions which are also of educational value. Their use
was more prevalent during Setswana lessons than in the lessons of other subjects.
In the next chapter, the main research questions will be addressed using both the
quantitative data (cf. Chapters Four, Five and Six) and qualitative data in the present
chapter. The two sets of data will be used to establish whether they are in harmony
with each other and therefore complement one another or whether they contradict one
another. The answers obtained to the research questions will then be used to answer
the main research question; “the role of CS in a teaching and learning situation in
selected senior secondary schools in Botswana”.
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CHAPTER EIGHT
INTERPRETATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS
8.1 INTRODUCTION
The previous three chapters dealt with the analysis and presentation of the results
derived from both the quantitative and qualitative research methods. The presentation
included the selection of the data that provide answers to the research questions
outlined in Chapter One of the study. In the present chapter, the research questions
will be dealt with in their chronological order by using the data from both the
quantitative (Chapters Five and Six) and qualitative (Chapter Seven) analysis
commonly known as qual-quan, (cf. Chapter three, Section 3.2, paragraph 4). By so
doing, the researcher will reveal whether the data complement or contradict one
another. Below each research question, the data used from Chapters Five and Six will
be referred to in terms of the applicable table number but they will not be reproduced.
Each research question will be dealt with through the views of the teachers and the
learners presented separately, followed by a summary that will demonstrate whether
the views of the two groups of respondents concur or diverge. The research questions
will be answered in chronological order, but the data from Chapters Five and Six,
mainly presented in tabular form, will not necessarily be used in chronological order.
Rather, the relevance of the data to the research question being answered will dictate
which data to use at which stage.
Consequently, there will be cross-references between tables and within tables. The
answers to the research questions will cumulatively address the main problem under
investigation, namely The role of CS in teaching and learning in selected senior
secondary schools in Botswana.
In this chapter the researcher will also review the literature discussed in Chapter Two
in an attempt to provide some answers to some questions that emanated from the
review. Because of the inter-relatedness of the research questions, some of the
responses were found to be relevant to more than one research question. However,
such responses were not repeated – the researcher only referred to them.
320
The main research questions that directed the collection of data for the study are as
follows:
1. What are the defining characteristics of the phenomenon of CS?
2. To what extent is CS used in educational settings in Botswana?
3. Can the phenomena in the classrooms of Botswana be called CS?
4. Question Four was divided into four parts, as follows:
ƒ
What are the didactic consequences of CS in the schools?
ƒ
Is CS educationally beneficial?
ƒ
Does the use of CS in a classroom situation slow down the pace of
teaching and learning to the extent that it is detrimental to content
coverage within the prescribed time?
ƒ
Is the practice of CS from English to Setswana in a classroom
situation discriminatory to non-Setswana speakers?
5. Question Five was also divided into three parts as follows:
ƒ
Does the use of CS in a classroom situation violate the LiEP in
Botswana?
ƒ
Is the LiEP in harmony with the practical realities of the classroom
situation?
ƒ
If this were the case, should the LiEP be revised to ensure that the LoLT
promotes maximum delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills
development?
6
Does the current LiEP and practice promote negative perceptions about Setswana
and other local languages?
8.2 RESEARCH QUESTION ONE: WHAT ARE THE DEFINING
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PHENOMENON OF CS?
This question was answered mainly through information from the literature review
pertaining to what the other scholars said about what CS is. First, the MLF model
(Myers-Scotton, 1993a) and the MLP (Kamwangamalu, 1989a, 1990, in
Kamwangamalu, 1999: 267) used as conceptual framework in the present study will be
applied to the data drawn from the qualitative data collected through classroom
observations to determine whether the phenomenon that transpires in the classroom is
321
CS as universally defined or not. If that is not the case, an attempt will be made to
describe how the phenomenon that occurs in the classrooms of Botswana violates what
constitutes CS according to various authors consulted in the literature review (Auer,
1984; Myers-Scotton, 1993a; Kieswetter, 1995; Milroy & Muysken, 1995;
Kamwangamalu, 1996, 2000; Heredia & Altarriba, 2001; Li, 2002; Liebscher &
Dailey-O’Cain, 2004). Second, in attempting to establish the function of this
phenomenon in a teaching and learning situation, Hymes’ SPEAKING mnemonic will
be applied.
Several scholars (cf. Chapter Two, Section 2.3.1) essentially agree on the following as
the defining characteristics of CS:
ƒ
In CS there must be at least two languages: the ML (dominant language)
that plays the dominant role in CS and, as such, its syntactic structure is
preserved or remains unchanged; and the EL (guest language), which takes
the morphological and phonological structure of the ML and, as such, its
syntactic structure is violated. Consequently, the internal constituent
structure of the EL items conforms to the constituent structure of the host
language.
ƒ
The speaker(s) who engage(s) in the two languages must be fluent in both.
ƒ
CS takes place when a speaker or speakers use(s) the two languages in the
same conversation in conversational turns or within the same sentence of a
turn.
ƒ
There is a difference between CS, CM, and borrowing: Whilst CS involves
using two or more languages within the same conversational turn (intersentential CS) or within the same sentence of that turn (intra-sentential CS),
CM refers to the use of linguistic units that contain morphemes from both
languages (host and guest languages) within single words that have not
been phonologically and morphologically integrated into the host language
(Kieswetter, 1955: 22).
ƒ
Borrowing involves the use of borrowed words or phrases that are
assimilated phonologically, morphologically, syntactically and lexically
into the host language (Bokamba, 1988 and Herbert, 1994, in Kieswetter,
1995, 13-14 and 18-19 respectively).
322
Focusing on the classroom situation in Botswana, the main languages used are English
and Setswana. In CS, English plays a lesser role and therefore, it is the EL; Setswana
plays a major role in CS, and is the ML as its syntactic structure licenses the use of
linguistic units from the EL. English is the official LoLT in the teaching of all school
subjects except in the teaching of Setswana as a subject. Consequently, it is expected
that the teaching of all subjects be done in English only, except in the teaching of
Setswana, which is expected to be done in Setswana only. Yet, from the quantitative
and the qualitative data collected through respectively questionnaires and lesson
observations, it has been observed that CS between English and Setswana takes place
in the classroom irrespective of the subject taught. However, there is more CS during
lessons of content subjects than during lessons of language subjects. To some extent,
CS also takes place in a Setswana class from Setswana to English, but not at the same
rate as the use of Setswana during lessons of subjects taught in English, particularly
content subjects.
Examining the data from the classroom, the researcher will seek to establish if the
phenomenon that occurs in the classrooms in Botswana conforms to the characteristics
of CS outlined above. The examples will be drawn from several lessons in the subjects
observed in the study, and, more specifically, from those that have been transcribed (cf.
Addendum C).
As already demonstrated from the presentation of the qualitative data in the previous
chapter, the data collected from the classroom reveal several incidents of CS involving
mainly English and Setswana (cf. Extracts 11, 12, 16 – 21 for CS to Setswana; and
Extracts 22 and 23 for CS to English). Extract 37 below provides an example of CS in
the classroom during a Biology lesson.
Extract 37: Biology lesson
Te: …We mentioned that the globule molecules tse e leng gore di dule le the
Which were removed with
filtrates, remember ha re expecta go bona a filtrate to the tissue fluid. Gakere?
here we expect to see
isn’t it so?
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C: Ee.
Yes.
Te: Ee! Ke rile that is equivalent or similar to the tissues fluid.
Yes, I said………………………………………………..
Now ke yone e e leng gore re a go e bitsa re re ke the filtrate.
it is the one which we are going to call …………………..
The extract above shows that CS mainly takes place between English and Setswana.
The teacher can choose to initiate the discourse either in English and then switch over
to Setswana (cf. line 1 above); or vice versa (cf. line 4 above) within the same sentence
or from one sentence to the other. This flexible use of English and Setswana
demonstrates the teacher’s fluency in both languages. The example also shows that the
ML is Setswana and the EL is English as the verb used in the extract expecta (line 2) is
a result of nonce borrowing. An English verb expect, which has been affixed with the
Setswana suffix –a so that it assumes the morphological structure of Setswana.
Therefore, the syntactic structure of Setswana remains unchanged while that of English
is violated because English does not form verbs by using –a as suffixes. The result is
that the internal constituent structure of English conforms to the constituent structure
of Setswana. Extract 38 below from Transcription 1 (Biology lesson) demonstrates the
use of English verbs that have taken the morphological and phonological structure of
Setswana to conform to its syntactic structure when used in a sentence.
Extract 38: Biology lesson
(Lines 98 -102)
Te: Ga tweng?
What are you saying?
Ln 6: (
) further explains in Setswana
Te: Ee.
Yes.
Ln 6: (
) … go patchiwa.
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… to patch.
Te: Go patchiwa ha kae?
Where do we patch?
(Lines 134 - 135)
Te: Ga le itse? Le teng la high blood! Ee, ka re jaanong motho yoo o ka advisiwa
You don’t know? It is there of…! Yes, I am saying that person can be advised
gore a je eng thata, a seka a ja eng thata? Ke yone potso yame.
that he / she should eat more of what, and less of what? That is my question.
(Lines 142 - 146)
Te: Go raya gore instead of getting … go raya gore in other words, water can be
It means that…………………..... it means that…………………………….
diverted … instead of the person urinating frequently, the person can remove faeces
frequently.
C: [LAUGHTER, SOME SHOWING SURPRISE.]
T: Nnyaya, mme ke botse potso ele nngwe hela hela. Ha motho a tsenywe ke mala
No, let me ask one question only. If a person has diarrhoea
go a diragala gore a urineite kgapetsa?
Does it happen that he / she should urinate frequently?
(Lines 169 - 173)
Te: Ee! So batho ba (
Yes! … these people
) will always be advised not to take in a lot of proteins, but
…………………………………………………………….
to take in a lot of roughage jaaka a ne a bua … Ka goreng? Ka gore mpa e ta a
…………………………like he was saying…why? Because the stomach will be
tala … e tala ee…what can be removed very fast but go sa forme a lot of toxic
full … it will be full yes……………………………..
but without forming ………
material eleng the urea; ke a utwala?
which is …..; Am I understood?
C: Ee.
325
Yes.
The following English verbs, which appear in the extract above and have already been
presented in Chapter Seven, have assumed Setswana suffixes as a result of nonce
borrowing so that they conform to Setswana morphological structure in the sentences
in which they have been used:
1. Go patch-iwa (lines 101 - 102)
To be patched
2. Advis-iwa (line 134)
To be advised
3. Ureneite (line 146)
Urinate
4. Form-e (line 171)
Form
The use of English verbs in this manner was not unique to the Biology class. Other
teachers also used them in the teaching of other subjects, as exemplified by the
following:
1. o appear –a (Home Economics)
she appears
2. a chusa (Home Economics)
when choosing
3. go prioritaez-a (Setswana)
to prioritize
4. Clean-ang (History)
You (plural) clean
CS is also classified as either inter-sentential, or intra-sentential, or emblematic (taglike). All these forms of CS were used during the lessons as illustrated and explained
in the previous chapter (cf. Extracts 11, 12, 16 - 20, 22 and 23). Both the teachers of
content and language subjects employed all three the forms of CS. Contrary to the
observation made by Moyo (1996) that more competent bilinguals tended to use intra-
326
sentential CS, while less competent bilinguals tended to use inter-sentential CS in the
form of emblematic switches, this was not the case in the present study. It was
observed that the teachers employed all three the forms of CS, yet none displayed a
lack of proficiency in English.
The data from the classroom therefore shows that CS was used by the teachers across
the different subjects as defined in Chapter Two (cf. Section 2.3.1). The data generally
conformed to all the characteristics of CS in that CS essentially involved English and
Setswana. Although in the classroom English is supposed to be the main language and
therefore the dominant language in CS, in actual fact the reverse is true; it is mainly
Setswana that licences how CS should take place. English is the EL as previously
explained (cf. Section 8.2 above). The teachers were generally fluent in both Setswana
and English, and the two languages were used mainly in the same conversation intersententially or intra-sententially. Furthermore, Setswana as the ML had its syntactic
structure preserved, while that of English, the guest language, was violated such that
the morphosyntactic structure of English was affected. The end result was that the
English constituent structure conformed to the morphosyntactic structure of Setswana.
However, in some cases, especially during the lessons of the content subjects, there
was extensive use of Setswana in lieu of English, the official LoLT. It was this
excessive use of Setswana during the lessons of the subjects that were supposedly
taught in ‘English’ that the researcher found problematic. In a CS situation, the
language of the event should be easily identified. However, in many of the classes in
the content subjects, it was not so easy to identify English as the LoLT because of the
simultaneous use of both English and Setswana throughout the duration of the lesson.
This issue will be further dealt with under Research Question Three that addresses
whether the phenomenon that occurs in the Botswana classrooms can rightly be
referred to as CS.
Moyo (1996) further asserted that CS constituted a register that could be described as a
third variety of a given profession or vocation. The researcher, however, does not
share this notion as already described in Chapter Two (Section 2.5). Instead, she
shares the view of Akindele and Letsoela (2001) that CS is used as a teaching strategy.
What emerged from the present study is that, what may be regarded as new vocabulary
is, in fact, words that are a result of nonce-borrowing or borrowing proper. However,
327
Moyo qualified his observation by stating that often such words are used in informal
conversations. The present study focuses on CS in a formal environment such as the
classroom, so the use of such vocabulary would only be limited to spoken
communication; but not be used in written communication. Furthermore, what Moyo
described as the speaker’s affiliation to dual cultures as a result of CS is, in fact, the
use of CS to show one’s educational level, as was the case during Setswana lessons
when teachers CS.
8.3 RESEARCH QUESTION TWO: TO WHAT EXTENT IS CS USED IN
EDUCATIONAL SETTINGS IN BOTSWANA?
This research question was answered by analyzing the teachers’ responses to the
questions contained in Tables 5.5, 5.7, 5.8, 5.9, 5.19, and 5.20 (cf. Chapter Five); and
the learners’ responses to the questions contained in Tables 6.4, 6.14, 6.15, 6.18, and
6.19 (cf. Chapter Six). The questions were mainly on CS between English and
Setswana. The teachers were asked about:
ƒ
their attitude towards CS in general;
ƒ
the extent to which they CS in the classroom;
ƒ
instances when they allowed their learners to CS;
ƒ
when the learners CS without being sanctioned by the teacher; and
ƒ
the teachers’ CS to a local language.
8.3.1. Teachers’ responses
a. Attitude towards CS
The results showed that there were more teachers than not, irrespective of the subject
they taught, who did not approve of the learners’ CS in class. However, the extent of
disapproval varied between teachers of content subjects and teachers of language
subjects. This was indicated by 54% of the teachers of subjects taught in ‘English’,
64% of Setswana teachers, and 69% of all the teachers in the study (irrespective of the
subject taught) who disapproved of CS to a local language, such as Ikalanga (cf. Table
5.5). The results suggest that although CS is used, some teachers, irrespective of the
subject they teach, do not support its use by the learners. The results also showed that
328
Setswana teachers strongly disapproved of the learners’ CS to English, more than the
teachers of subjects taught in English disapproved of CS to Setswana. In fact, none of
the Setswana teachers said CS use during Setswana lessons did not bother them. Only
a few teachers of the subjects taught in English (3%), indicated that the practice did not
bother them. The results further revealed that the majority of the teachers objected
more to CS from English to a local language than to Setswana, and even than from
Setswana to English. This suggests that CS to a local language was more unlikely to
take place than CS to either Setswana or to English. Again the results suggest that CS
was more likely to occur during classes taught in English than during Setswana classes.
b. CS from English to Setswana
The results also showed that there were more teachers (53%) who said they do not CS
from English to Setswana in a class taught in English, and from Setswana to English
during a Setswana lesson than those who said they do (47%). One teacher further
stated that he CS between English and a local language (cf. Table 5.7). The results
suggest that although CS is used in the classroom, not all the teachers are in support of
its use. The results also showed that there were more teachers who allowed their
learners to CS to Setswana or to English in their classes (58%). However, 42% of the
teachers said they never allowed their learners to CS during their lessons. Twenty-five
percent of these were teachers of Setswana; and 17% were teachers of subjects taught
in English. The results imply that Setswana is used as an alternative LoLT in the
classroom even though there is no official pronouncement on this practice. This
practice signals the presence of CS in teaching and learning.
Furthermore, the results showed that CS was limited to oral communication as stated
by 58% of the teachers of the subjects taught in ‘English’ (cf. Table 5.9). This seemed
to suggest that CS was strictly a strategy for facilitating spoken communication in class
essentially where there was a problem of communication in the official language of
instruction. The other 42% were Setswana teachers who stated that learners were
allowed to use Setswana in both speaking and writing as was expected.
329
c. CS from Setswana to English (during a Setswana lesson)
The results (cf. Table 5.13) showed that the majority of the teachers of Setswana (84%)
CS to English during their lessons to clarify a particular point that seemed unclear
when explained in Setswana. However, 64% of them said that they did not allow their
learners to CS to English even if they had difficulty explaining themselves in
Setswana. The results showed that CS also took place in Setswana classes; and that the
teachers freely CS, as and whenever they needed to during the lesson. However, the
same dispensation was not extended to the learners, as shown by only 36% of teachers
who admitted that they allowed the learners to CS to English in their classes.
However, some Setswana teachers, even though they were in the minority, recognized
the value of CS in class, namely that it served to facilitate teaching and learning by
either the teacher or the learner where the LoLT (English for subjects taught in English
and Setswana during Setswana lessons) in use was not effective.
d. CS to a local language
CS to a local language minimally occurred as stated by the 63% of the teachers (cf.
Table 5.19). Ikalanga was given as the main local language to which CS took place, as
stated by 96% of the 78 teachers who responded (cf. Table 5.20). This was expected,
given that Ikalanga is the language of the area in which the research was based, spoken
by over 50% of the teachers. This suggests that in rare cases, CS also involved a local
language.
8.3.2. Learners’ responses
Learners were also asked about their attitude towards CS in general; the extent of their
own CS in class; the extent of the teachers’ CS, be it from English to Setswana or vice
versa; and the extent of the teachers’ CS to a local language. Their responses were as
follows:
ƒ
The results showed that, generally, the learners’ opinion about the teachers’ CS
was positive (Table 6.4).
ƒ
Thirty-nine percent of the learners said they had no objection to the teachers’
CS from English to Setswana, but 23% objected. Similarly, 42% of the
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learners stated that they did not object to the teachers’ CS to a local language;
but only 27% objected. However, there were more learners who stated that
they did not support CS from Setswana to English in a Setswana class than
those who said they had no objection (36% vs. 34%).
ƒ
The results suggest that the majority of the learners did not object to CS to
either Setswana or to a local language, but they seemed to have a problem with
CS to English in a Setswana class.
ƒ
Furthermore, the majority of the learners indicated that they supported the
teacher’s CS for the promotion of learning.
The results (cf. Table 6.14) showed that the number of learners who stated that they
sometimes CS from Setswana to English in a Setswana class and those who said they
never do was almost the same (55: 56). The results suggest that CS occurs in a
Setswana class and that both the teachers and learners used it. However, the teachers
were reluctant to extend the same dispensation to learners (cf. Table 6.15), as indicated
by 58% and 62% respectively. CS to a local language also took place, as stated by
53% of the learners. However, this form of CS was not as common as CS to Setswana
or to English as evidenced by 47% who said it did not occur (cf. Table 6.18). Ninety
percent of the learners named Ikalanga as the local language to which some teachers
normally CS in class (cf. Table 6.19). This is not unexpected, given the fact that
Ikalanga is the home language of the majority of the learners (over 46%) and is further
spoken by 70% of the learners, including those for whom it was not a HL. The other
local languages were hardly used in class.
The results suggest that although CS in the classroom was mainly between English and
Setswana, at times it also involved a local language, Ikalanga.
8.3.3 Summary of teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards CS
The results showed that generally the teachers CS and also allowed the learners to CS,
and that CS takes place during the lessons of subjects taught in “English” as well as
during Setswana lessons. Where CS was allowed, it was restricted to spoken
communication only. Generally, the teachers’ and the learners’ attitudes towards CS
were positive even though the former (teachers) expressed concern about its use by the
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learners. This was contrary to the findings by Lawson and Sachdev (2000) from their
study of CS in a university environment in Tunisia. They found that the general
attitudes towards CS in a formal learning environment, like the classroom, were
negative. In the present study, both the teachers and learners viewed it as
educationally beneficial. However, Setswana teachers felt more strongly about its use
by the learners than the teachers of the other subjects. In fact, most of the Setswana
teachers said that CS during Setswana lessons bothered them, while very few of the
other teachers, indicated that the practice did not bother them (64% vs. 3%). The
results also suggest that CS also involved a local language, such as Ikalanga. This
shows that although no other local language besides Setswana is taught or used
officially in the school system, the usefulness of these languages in education cannot
be denied.
The results further revealed that, on the one hand, the majority of the teachers objected
more to CS from English to a local language than from English and Setswana. On the
other hand, the majority of the learners did not object to CS to either Setswana or a
local language, but they seemed to have a problem with CS to English in a Setswana
class.
The results also showed that both the teachers and the learners agreed that there was
CS during Setswana lessons even though some of the teachers said that they did not
allow it. The same view was confirmed by the learners, namely that the majority of the
teachers of Setswana did not allow their learners to CS. This was ironic; if teachers
CS, they should allow their learners to do likewise.
8.3.4 The qualitative data
The data from the observations of the lessons also confirmed the teachers’ and the
learners’ responses that there is CS irrespective of the subject taught, the school setting
(urban or peri-urban), the teachers’ gender, and the class level (grade) taught. A
similar observation was made by Akindele and Letsoela (2001). The data revealed that
even though CS was used across the different subjects, its prevalent use was found
more during the lessons of the content subjects than during the lessons of the language
subjects (cf. Addendum C). The reason for this could be that CS in a lesson on a
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language subject would be contrary to the objective of language development that is
primary in such lessons. However, during lessons of content subjects, the primary
objective is to ensure the comprehension of the contents of the lessons among learners.
The LiEP of Botswana states that all subjects, apart from Setswana, should be taught in
English. Despite this formal policy, CS to Setswana was found to be a common
occurrence in the classroom. It mainly occurred during the lessons of content subjects
(Biology, Home Economics, and History) than during the lessons of language subjects
(English and Setswana). Apart from being used to greet the learners and to convey
housekeeping matters at the beginning of the lesson, CS was also used to present the
lesson material, as illustrated in Chapter Seven: Extract 6: Biology, Extract 7: Home
Economics, Extracts 18 and 20-21: History. CS in an English (L and L) lesson
occurred at discourse initiation stage to greet the learners, but during the course of the
lesson its use was minimal (cf. Extracts 11-13 and Extract 30 respectively).
Conversely, during Setswana lessons, CS occurred from Setswana to English as
demonstrated in Extracts 22-23 and 32-36, also referred to in Chapter Seven.
a. CS during the lessons of content subjects
Evidence from classroom observations showed that CS was more prevalent during the
lessons of the content subjects. For instance, during the Biology class, the teacher
initiated the discourse by greeting the class in Setswana, and called them to order in
preparation for the formal part of the lesson (cf. Extract 1). As soon as the formal part
of the lesson began, she switched to English; and as the lesson progressed, she CS to
Setswana but still delivering the academic content of the lesson (Extract 6).
Throughout the lesson, the teacher maintained the same style of alternating between
the use of English and Setswana. The extract (and Extract 7, as well) shows that
although the lesson was supposed to be conducted in English, CS was used throughout
the duration of the lesson. At discourse finalization stage, the teacher switched back to
Setswana (cf. Extract 4).
The use of Setswana at discourse initiation stage to exchange greetings, to perform
housekeeping matters, to call the class to order, and also at discourse finalization stage
to communicate non-academic issues, suggests that Setswana is the language to use
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when communicating socio-educational matters in the classroom. However, the
teacher was aware that English was the expected language to use when delivering the
lesson, hence he / she switched from Setswana to English as soon as the formal
segment of the lesson began. This practice was short-lived as the teacher switched
back to Setswana during the course of the lesson (Extract 6). In addition, social
utterances, such as ‘asides’ (Extract 8) or admonitions (Extract 9) were made in
Setswana as previously presented in Chapter Seven.
The same pattern of CS use was also observed during the lessons of other content
subjects as already demonstrated in the previous chapter (cf. Extracts 2, 5 and 7 for
Home Economics and Extract 3 for History). However, it is worth noting that there
was minimal use of CS and other related concepts such as borrowing or CM during
this particular History lesson compared to other lessons of content subjects. This was
an exception but not the norm as evidenced during the other History lessons observed.
b. CS during English (L and L) lessons
The situation was different during English (L and L) lessons. There was minimal CS
and often Setswana was limited to the exchange of greetings at discourse initiation
stage (Extract 10). The teacher greeted the class in Setswana, but instead of
responding in Setswana, the learners responded in English. Thereafter, the main
language of communication was English. Evidence shows that the learners had
understood the rule, namely that communication was in English only, even though the
teacher would CS to Setswana. If any CS was employed, it was during the
development stage of the lesson. The most frequently used form of CS was
emblematic CS (Extract 12) in the form of a tag ga ke re, which has no English
translation but is used to imply that the listener is following what is being said, or is in
agreement. It has a phatic function and its use is not in any way linked to the speaker’s
proficiency in English or the lack of it. Rather, it occurs in the speech of Setswana
speakers regardless of what language is being used. The discourse finalization was
done in English, and no CS was used (cf. Extract 13).
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c. CS during Setswana lessons
CS during Setswana lessons, be it grammar or literature, was minimal. Greetings were
always exchanged in Setswana; and the introduction of the lesson was also made in
Setswana with a gradual infusion of borrowing (Extract 14). During the development
stage of the lesson, minimal CS was employed (cf. Extracts 22 and 23). Evidence from
the classroom showed that Setswana teachers engaged borrowing (nonce borrowing
and borrowing proper) more than CS (cf. Extracts 32, 33-36 and 42). At the end, the
lesson was concluded in Setswana (Extract 15).
The data therefore revealed that, during the lessons of the content subjects, CS was
used throughout; whilst during English (L and L) lessons, it was limited to greetings at
discourse initiation stage and was used minimally thereafter. Contrarily, during
Setswana lessons, CS was not used at discourse initiation and finalization stages: its
use was during the development stage of the lesson. However, the use of borrowing
was more significant than the use of CS.
8.3.5 Functions of CS in the classroom
(a) CS to deliver the lesson content
The extent of CS use also revealed its functions. Observation revealed that CS was
used to deliver the lesson content, as well as for social functions. These functions are
further explained below.
CS use for delievering the lesson content was prevalent during the lessons of content
subjects than during the lessons of language subjects. Often the teacher initiated the
discourse in English, be it an explanation or a question. Recognizing that what he / she
is saying may not be readily comprehensible to the learners, he / she then switched to
Setswana as the lesson progressed. Thereafter, the alternate use of the two languages
continued throughout the lesson (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 6 for a Biology lesson and
Extract 25 for a Home Economics lesson). Owing to the teacher’s switching to
Setswana, the learners understood this to mean that they, too, could respond in
Setswana. The teacher did not object to the learners’ use of Setswana, and the lesson
progressed through the use of the two languages. All three the forms of CS -- intra-
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sentential CS, inter-sentential CS, and emblematic CS -- were employed during the
discourse. The prevalent use of CS in this way implied that it was used mainly as a
teaching strategy (Adendorff, 1993; Akindele & Letsoela, 2001). The primary concern
for the teachers of these subjects was to promote understanding of the lesson content
among learners because they knew that the learners’ English language proficiency was
inadequate.
During English (L and L) lessons, CS was also used to facilitate teaching, even though
minimally so (cf. Chapter Seven Extract 11). Both intra-sentential and inter-sentential
CS were used in the discourse. The former (intra-sentential CS) is used to complete a
sentence that is used to explain the content of the lesson, and the latter (inter-sentential
CS) is used to emphasise the message presented in the previous sentence uttered in
English. During the lesson, the learners’ utterances are limited to brief answers in
English, or responses denoting agreement or disagreement through the use of either
‘yes’ or ‘no’ in a chorus (Arthur, 2001). It appears that during the lessons of English
(L and L), the rule is well understood that participation on the part of the learners is in
English only. Once again, only the teachers have the prerogative to minimally CS or
even to employ borrowing. The same freedom is not extended to the learners. CS was
also used to repeat in Setswana for clarification purposes, the lesson material already
presented in the LoLT (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 30). This way CS is used
instructionally.
During Setswana lessons, CS use was very minimal; rather it was the different forms of
borrowing -- nonce borrowing and borrowing proper, as well as CM as demonstrated
in the previous chapter (cf. section 7.8) that were used more (for instructional
purposes). The use of CS or any of its related concepts was during the formal part of
the lesson (cf. Extract 22 and 23). None of the teachers observed used English at
discourse-initiation stage to greet the class or to discuss housekeeping matters with
their classes. Similarly, at discourse-closure stage, the teacher wound up the lesson in
Setswana, including dismissing the class. In some instances of CS use or borrowing or
CM, it seemed the teacher compensated for some deficiency in Setswana terminology
to name or explain a particular concept, especially where reference was being made to
a concept or situation originally foreign to Setswana culture. A similar observation
was made by Hussein (1999) from his study on the use of CS in a university
336
environment in Jordan. He observed that, because his informants were studying
Arabic, they switched to English where English terms had no Arabic equivalents,
especially for scientific concepts. In the researcher’s view, this is not CS, but nonce
borrowing. This also confirms the observation made by Kembo-Sure and Webb (2000:
123) that words that refer to technology often prompt the use of nonce borrowing or
even borrowing proper. In this way, CS was used as a deferential strategy (Appel &
Muysken, 1987), when the speaker realizes that he / she lacks knowledge of the
language being used or lacks facility in that language on a certain topic being
discussed. This practice occurred in the Setswana lessons as soon as the formal part of
the lesson had begun until the lesson had ended. The teascher reverted to Setswana in
order to conclude the lesson.
b. CS is used to perform social functions
CS was used to perform the following social functions in the classroom:
ƒ
To exchange greetings at the initial stage of the lesson and to dismiss the
class at the final stage of the lesson (cf. Extract 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 13 in
Chapter 5). This was observed during the lessons of subjects taught in
English. This is similar to CS use for closure (Blommaert (1992, in
Kamwangamalu, 2000); Nwoye (1992, in Moodley, 2001); Martin-Jones,
1994);
ƒ
to perform housekeeping matters at the beginning of the lesson (cf. Extract
2 and 3);
ƒ
to signal exasperation (cf. Extract 8 above): this is an expressive function of
CS (Myers-Scotton, 1993a);
ƒ
to show impatience and to admonish the class ( cf. Extract 9 above): a
phatic function (Myers-Scotton, 1993a);
ƒ
to check if learners are following the lesson (cf. Extract 26): (Arthur, 2001;
Adendorff, 1993; Akindele & Letsoela, 2001); and
ƒ
to amuse the class (cf. Extract 27).
ƒ
To communicate in a sarcastic way (Extract 31, lines 5-6).
ƒ
to show one of the phatic functions, namely group identification or group
membership / solidarity (Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Nwoye (1992, in
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Moodley, 2001; Kieswetter, 1995; Flowers (2000, in Moodley, 2001;
Akindele & Letsoela, 2001; Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Moodley, 2001):
This was the most common form of CS and was used mainly when teachers
initiated the discourse in Setswana to greet their classes. This is a marker of
group identification -- to show group membership or group solidarity -- by
the teachers with their learners; namely, that they were members of the
same linguistic community. Setswana as a national language is spoken by
almost all learners even though it is not a MT for a significant proportion of
them, as previously explained in Chapter Six. When CS is used in this way,
it is said to be a sequential unmarked choice within Myers-Scotton’s MM
(Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 114; Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Molosiwa, 2006).
However, because it occurs in a class that is supposed to be taught in
English, CS becomes a marked choice.
ƒ to demonstrate ethnic identity (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Myers-Scotton,
1993a): This form of CS use was very rare, except in an instance in which
one English Language teacher opted to use the local language (Ikalanga) to
greet his class. Although 18% of the teachers and 46% of the learners said
Ikalanga was their HL, it was generally not used during the lessons
observed.
ƒ
to serve as a positive reinforcement in the form of a praise after a learner
had given a correct answer (cf. Extract 33) -- CS use this way serves a
phatic function;
ƒ
to show the teacher’s level of education (cf. Extract 32). In the latter
instance, Moyo (1996: 27) observed that CS use in this way may mark
‘some ambivalent ethnic identity, which usually indicates the speakers’ dual
affiliation to the two cultures’. However, the researcher concurs with
Gibbons (1983), Kieswetter (1995), Moodley (2001), and Tshinki (2002)
that the speakers (and teachers) used CS as a sign of their educational level
or social identity or even prestige (Tshinki, 2002) rather than as a sign of
‘ethnic identity’.
ƒ
to show authority and / or annoyance (cf. Extract 35);
ƒ
CS as a strategy for neutrality (cf. Extract 32);
ƒ
and owing to the topic discussed (Blom & Gumperz, 1972, in Gumperz &
Hymes, 1986; Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki, 2002; Gxilishe, 1992 and
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Elridge, 1996, in Moodley, 2001; Moodley, 2001; Myers-Scotton, 1993a;
Tshinki, 2002) (cf. Extracts 32 and 36).
In addition to the above social functions, CS can also be used as follows:
ƒ
CS as a deferential strategy: this is when the addressee responds to the first
speaker in the language he / she deems appropriate for the occasion instead of
the language used by the first speaker (Myers-Scotton, 1993). This form of CS
was used minimally, such as when the teacher initiated his question in English,
but did not get any response from the learners. Therefore, he decided to repeat
the same question in Setswana. One learner responded to the question in
English even though the teacher had repeated the question in Setswana (cf.
Extract 30). This form of response was an exception rather than a rule. The
learner seemed to have understood that English was the appropriate language of
communication during this lesson. This form of CS use was observed during a
History lesson as well as during an English (L and L) lesson.
ƒ
to show emphasis (Gumperz & Hymes, 1986; Hoffman (1991, in Tshinki,
2002); Gila, 1995; Kieswetter, 1995; Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997;
Ncoko (1998, in Moodley, 2001; Moodley, 2001; Tshinki, 2002): The same
example in Extract 30 can serve as an illustration of the use of CS to show
emphasis. The teacher CS to Setswana to repeat a question asked initially in
English.
ƒ
CS as a strategy for neutrality (Myers-Scotton, 1993a): this form of CS is
used when the speaker employs two codes at the same time because he / she
realizes that the use of each of the two codes has its own value in terms of
the costs and rewards which accrue with its use. The speaker avoids
speaking only one code so as not to commit himself / herself to a single
Rights and Obligations Sets (RO Sets) (Myers-Scotton, 1993a). While the
use of CS in this way gives the speaker a dual identity, it also serves as a
strategy for neutrality. In a class that is taught in English, the use of
Setswana gives the speaker the benefits of using both languages. This form
of CS is common in the classroom, especially during the lessons of content
subjects (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 29). Setswana teachers also employed
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this form of CS as well as borrowing (cf. Extracts 32). The teacher CS back
and forth between English and Setswana or vice versa. This form of CS is
not only a strategy for neutrality but is also a display of linguistic
versatility. In addition, the use of CS in this way is meant to encourage the
learners to participate in the learning process (Adendorff, 1993; Arthur,
2001).
Consequently, CS can either be from English to Setswana during the classes of
subjects taught in ‘English’; or it can be from Setswana to English in a Setswana class.
The former was more prevalent during the teaching of content subjects (History, Home
Economics and Biology) than during the teaching of English (L and L). It should also
be noted that during English (L and L) classes, CS was used minimally both for
educational and social functions. The explanation for this scenario was that the
teachers of English were required to be exemplary in assisting the learners to acquire
proficiency in English. This included teaching in English and also encouraging their
learners to speak English. CS during their classes was viewed as behaviour that was
contrary to the objectives of English (L and L) teaching.
Although the respondents stated that there was limited CS to a local language, the
qualitative data did not support this. None of the teachers used the local language to
present the lesson content or even asked a learner to respond in Ikalanga, except for
two isolated incidents. One teacher greeted his class in the local language (Ikalanga) to
show ethnic identity or to show solidarity (Molosiwa, 2006) as already mentioned
above; and another teacher of Setswana asked a learner if he wanted to respond to the
teacher’s question in Ikalanga. However, the offer was declined and the learner
responded in Setswana.
The teachers used both discourse-related CS and participant-related CS (Liebscher and
Dailey-O’Cain (2004). The former organizes conversation by contributing to the
interactional meaning of a particular utterance and, in the latter, switches correspond to
the preferences of the individual who performs the switching or those of coparticipants in the conversation (Auer, 1984, 1998, in Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain,
2004: 502). Teachers used discourse-related CS as the lesson progressed to make
asides (Extract 8), to quote, or even to move in and out of the lesson. They used
340
participant-related CS when they anticipated that the learners would not readily
understand what was being said in English, and therefore CS to the language which the
majority of the learners understood. While Liebscher and Dailey-O’Cain also
observed that the learners used these two patterns of CS, as well, the researcher
however observed that, in the present study, it was mainly participant-related CS that
the learners used to respond to the teacher’s questions during the lessons of the
subjects taught in ‘English’. This was largely because there was minimal active
learner participation in the learning process. Participant-related CS suggested that both
the teachers and the learners appreciate the importance of communicating in the
language in which they were fluent.
The qualitative data also confirmed the quantitative data that during Setswana lessons,
it was the different forms of borrowing that were mainly used and less of CS. This
scenario is due to a number of factors, among them the teachers’level of education, a
lack of Setswana words which could precisely describe a particular concept due to its
origin and as a result of language contact. Furthermore, like during lessons taught in
English, both the teachers and learners used both discourse-related CS and participantrelated CS during Setswana lessons because of their fluency in Setswana. Discourserelated CS is used to mark the content of a meta-linguistic comment (or to set off an
aside) or to mark a topic shift (Liebscher & Dailey-O’Cain, 2004).
The question to address, therefore, is whether language use during the lessons of the
subjects that were taught in ‘English’ can rightly be referred to as CS as espoused by
different scholars and also reiterated earlier in Chapter Two. This question is answered
in detail in the next research question.
8.4 RESEARCH QUESTION THREE: CAN THE PHENOMENON IN
BOTSWANA CLASSROOMS BE CALLED CS?
This research question can be dealt with on the basis of the teachers’ and learners’
responses to the questions contained in Table 5.10 and Table 6.8 respectively (cf.
Chapters Five and Six). Both questions probed whether the use of Setswana by
teachers and learners in class was due to an inability to express themselves well in
English or not.
341
The majority of the teachers (65%) were of the view that their CS to Setswana during
the lessons of subjects taught in English did not signal a lack of proficiency in English.
In the teachers’ view, they CS to Setswana in class to assist the learners who have
difficulty following a lesson presented in English, not because they themselves have
problems with self-expression in English. While 41% of the learners attributed the
teachers’ CS to a lack of fluency in English, 36% did not think so. In addition, nearly a
quarter of the learners (23%) did not provide a definite view on why teachers CS to
Setswana in class. On the learners’ CS to Setswana, the majority of both the teachers
(77%) and the learners (63%) shared the view that this signalled a lack of proficiency
in English. While the learners’ opinion regarding their CS to Setswana in class was
very clear (that the learners CS to overcome a language problem), it was not so clear
regarding that of the teachers.
The results suggest that the learners CS in class mainly because they were unable to
express themselves well in English. Therefore, they switch over to Setswana to
overcome this difficulty. Consequently, the teachers’ CS in class is mainly to
accommodate the learners’ English language deficiency. The use of CS in this way is
regarded as an accommodation strategy (Finlayson & Slabbert, 1997; Kamwangamalu,
2000). The views of the learners about the teachers’ CS somehow confirm this notion
even though a sizeable proportion of the learners (41%) thought otherwise. Examples
from lesson observations also confirm this assertion as demonstrated already in the
previous chapter (cf. Extracts 6, 7 and 29).
Evidence from classroom observations shows that the phenomenon that occurs during
the lessons of language subjects -- English (L and L) and Setswana could be called CS,
even though it has been demonstrated in answering the previous question that, during
Setswana lessons, there was more borrowing than CS. However, regarding lessons of
content subjects (Biology, History, and Home Economics), the phenomenon that
occurs in those classes can, in most cases, not be regarded as CS. Looking at the way
in which English and Setswana was used in the classroom in which this study was
situated, and by applying the standard definition of CS, it is evident that in the majority
of the cases, the data were more than merely the simultaneous use of the two languages
as and when the need arose, than CS as defined in Chapter Two. The use of the two
languages in this way was guided more by the need to remove the communication
342
barrier caused by a lack of proficiency in English among learners than an unconscious
use of the two languages driven by fluency in them, which is often the case in many
situations in which CS takes place. A similar observation was made by Molosiwa
(2006) that CS use in this context was influenced by the need to compensate for some
(language) difficulty. Webb (2002: 58) observed that ‘… sociolinguists call the use of
two languages in the same context with the same function code-switching.’ This could
be either in the case when discourse is initiated in one language and the same
information is repeated in another language without adding any new meaning, such as
in the dual instruction approach (Martin-Jones and Saxena, 2001); or it could be when
one language (such as Setswana) is used where the authorized LoLT (English) is
failing due to the learners’ lack of proficiency in it. However, during Setswana
lessons, where CS was used, it was more due to the teachers’ display of their fluency in
English than due to a lack of understanding of Setswana among the learners. In
answering Research Question Three, the nature of the phenomenon that occurs in the
classroom will be further examined through the respondents’ views, and also according
to the analysis of the qualitative data obtained by means of lesson observations.
Using the transcribed lessons as specific references, it is evident that the teachers of
English (L and L) make use of all three the forms of CS during their utterances as
already demonstrated in Extracts 11 and 12 in the previous chapter. In Extract 11,
there is the use of both intra-sentential jaaka eng? (line1), meaning ‘like what?’ and
inter-sentential CS Ba ne ba bua nnete (line 2 meaning ‘they were telling the truth’).
The former is a dependent clause used to complete a sentence initially coined in
English, and the latter is in the form of an independent clause or a sentence that follows
another sentence constructed in English only. In Extract 12, the teacher uses
emblematic CS in the form of the tags ga ke re (line 8), implying ‘is that so?’ and Ee,
(line 9) meaning yes.
In Extract 22 (Setswana), Intra-sentential CS in the form of the phrase there is a
reason for that (line 4) a joining word so (line 7) n -- used to join two independent
clauses to form one sentence -- are examples of intra-sentential CS used to complete a
sentence constructed initially in Setswana. Furthermore, in Extract 23 (line 1), intersentential CS has been used as alternate sentences are expressed in English and
Setswana.
343
Looking at the examples from the transcriptions of the content subjects, while there is
the use of all three the forms of CS cited above, generally there is more use of
Setswana than English (by the teachers) even though the requirement is that these
subjects be taught in English. There is a tendency for these teachers to utter an entire
sentence or sentences in Setswana even though English is the prescribed language of
instruction. This form of CS led Akindele and Letsoela (2001) to observe that
although teachers CS at any point in the lesson, they tended to CS inter-sententially
rather than intra-sententially. The researcher concurs with the first observation, but
does not share the view of the latter because from the present study it emerged that
what these two scholars refer to as inter-sentential CS is, as already explained above, a
presentation of the lesson material in Setswana during lessons of subjects that were
taught in ‘English’ to help the learners to understand the lesson content. This form of
language use is not CS per se; rather it is simply the use of another language where the
prescribed language is failing to achieve the intended objective. Similarly, the
learners, taking a cue from the teacher, also respond in Setswana. The teacher does not
object to the learners’ use of Setswana, and their exchange continues in Setswana as
illustrated in the previous chapter (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 6, lines 5-6 and Extract
39 in the present chapter).
Furthermore, looking at the transcribed lessons for content subjects, notably Biology
and Home Economics (cf. Chapter Seven, Section 7.4) and using the sentence as a unit
of calculation, it was found that these lessons contained more Setswana than English
words, yet the LoLT was supposedly English. The discourses contained more
instances of intra-sentential CS than other forms of CS.
Furthermore, while there was some effort by the majority of the English (L and L)
teachers to discourage the learners from CS to Setswana in class, the same attitude was
not observed in almost all the classes of the content subjects. As already explained in
the previous chapter, one English Language teacher explicitly stated that he does not
condone the use of any other language in class besides English (cf. Extract 24), even
though on entering the classroom, he greeted the learners in their local language,
Ikalanga. This could be interpreted to imply that informal exchanges, such as
greetings, can be exchanged in either Setswana or Ikalanga, but the formal lesson
content should be presented in English only. However, in the view of the researcher,
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this is not CS, but the teacher using either of the two languages to establish rapport
with his class. During Setswana lessons, while the majority of the teachers
discouraged the learners from CS to English, they themselves freely CS and also
engaged borrowing as demonstrated in the previous chapter.
Furthermore, looking specifically at the amount of CS use during the transcribed
lessons for each of the subjects (cf. Addendum C), the data show that there was more
use of Setswana than English in the lessons of content subjects than in the lessons of
language subjects. The details of each transcribed lesson have already been presented
in the previous chapter (cf. Sections 7.4.1 - 7.4.3 for content subjects and 7.5.1 - 7.5.2
for language subjects).
In analyzing a sentence as a unit of calculation, the following was evident:
ƒ
Biology (cf. Transcription 1): Even though, overall, there were more English
sentences used than Setswana sentences, nonetheless the use of Setswana was
significant during the lesson. The discourse initiation (introduction) and
finalization (conclusion) were mainly in Setswana. During the formal /
development stage of the lesson, CS was used. The transcription contained
instances of CS and borrowing in the form of clauses, phrases or single words,
and CS was more intra-sentential and emblematic than inter-sentential.
ƒ
Home Economics (F and F) (cf. Transcription 2): At discourse-initiation stage
that included greetings and housekeeping matters, only Setswana was used.
The lesson introduction was also in Setswana but the teacher CS to English
during the formal / development part of the lesson and also engaged borrowing.
As in the Biology lesson, overall, there was more use of English than Setswana,
but there were more instances of intra-sentential CS and emblematic CS than
inter-sentential CS. Discourse closure also took place in Setswana only.
ƒ
History (Transcription 3): At discourse initiation, greetings were exchanged in
Setswana. Borrowing was used in the discussion of housekeeping matters.
When the lesson delivery began, the teacher switched back to English, but
engaged minimal CS as the lesson progressed. At discourse closure, the
teacher wound up the lesson in English. During this lesson, there were more
instances of inter-sentential CS than intra-sentential CS or even emblematic CS.
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This signifies that a teacher who CS less, engages in inter-sentential CS, but
one who CS frequently, engages more in intra-sentential CS and emblematic
CS than in inter-sentential CS. As previously mentioned, this was one of the
few content lessons observed in which CS was used minimally; so the instance
of minimal CS during a lesson of a content subject was an exception rather than
the norm.
ƒ
English Language (Transcription 4): The lesson was conducted almost entirely
in English. Discourse initiation and discourse closure were in English. During
the formal part of the lesson, CS was minimal and it was inter-sentential rather
than intra-sentential. In addition, emblematic CS in the form of ga ke re
meaning isn’t it was used to ensure that the listener is following what is being
said or is in agreement. Ee, meaning yes, is yet another example of emblematic
CS used to denote that the speaker or the listener is in agreement.
ƒ
Setswana (Transcription 5): At discourse initiation stage, greetings were
exchanged entirely in Setswana; and discourse closure took place in Setswana
as the lesson was wound up. However, borrowing occurred immediately when
the formal part of the lesson began. During the course of the formal part of the
lesson, nonce borrowing and borrowing proper were employed while the use of
CS was minimal.
The evidence above shows that there was CS especially during the lessons of the
content subjects. The use of CS by the teachers did not imply that they were not fluent
in English. During lesson observations, there was no display on the part of the teachers
that they were not able to express themselves well in English. Instead, CS was used as
a teaching strategy to assist the learners to follow the lesson material (Akindele &
Letsoela, 2001; Bissoonauth & Offord, 2001). The lessons were generally teachercentred; the teacher was the main speaker while the learners were passive participants.
There was minimal learner participation in the development of the lesson even when
the teacher tried to engage the class through questions. Evidence also shows that
speakers who code-switch more tend to use more intra-sentential CS than intersentential CS (for example, teachers of Biology and Home Economics in this study);
but speakers who code-switch less tend to use inter-sentential CS than intra-sentential
CS (for example, teachers of English L and L, Setswana and History). Further, intersentential CS is used to repeat material previously presented in the language of the
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event without adding any new meaning. Similarly, the former (teachers who CS more)
used emblematic CS more frequently than the latter (teachers who CS less).
Furthermore, the teachers of content subjects who CS frequently also used borrowing
more often than the teachers who CS minimally. The use of the different forms of
borrowing was also evident during Setswana lessons and this will be discussed in
detail in answering the next question.
From the findings, it is evident that what is perceived to be CS in the classroom is not
CS per se; rather it is the use of the learner’s language or a language that the majority
of the learners speak and understand in order to overcome the communication barrier
caused by the use of English, a language both the teachers and the learners agree the
latter have a problem with regarding self-expression and comprehension. The results
confirm what has already been stated above. Using examples of CS excerpts presented
in the previous chapter and also in the present chapter, it is evident that what is termed
CS in the classroom is somehow in contrast with what is generally understood to be CS
in a social setting or as defined earlier in Chapter Two. In the latter, CS implies that
the speaker who CS is proficient in the languages at his / her disposal; whereas in the
case of the classroom, as demonstrated by excerpts from several lessons and supported
by the views of the respondents above, CS signals that the learners are not proficient in
English. CS is used as a communication strategy to ensure that the knowledge that the
teacher imparts is received and understood by the learners. Also CS is used by the
learners in order to be able to participate in the learning process (Akindele & Letsoela,
2001). The teachers were mindful of the fact that they were required to teach in
English but faced with the learning difficulty caused by a lack of competence in
English among the learners, they resorted to CS to overcome the language barrier. The
incidence, earlier referred to in this chapter, of the learner who begged his teacher to
allow him to relate his story (which was culturally-based) in Setswana instead of using
English, brought the problem to the fore. However, the teacher did not accede to the
request.
It appears therefore that what occurred in the classrooms of the settings investigated
supports what van der Walt (2004) inferred when she said that there should be
‘tolerance for the use of non-standard varieties of English and for other languages’ in
the classroom.
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The researcher does not support the former view because the use of non-standard
varieties of English in the classroom would be against the objective of improving
English proficiency among learners. While the researcher recognizes that it is not
practically possible to eliminate the use of CS totally in the classroom, its use, which
essentially implies using other languages in class should be controlled; because its
extensive use is also detrimental to English proficiency among learners. Therefore, CS
should not be an impediment to language development. This point will be further
discussed in the next question when the didactic and educational effects of CS are
discussed.
8.5 RESEARCH QUESTION FOUR: THIS QUESTION WAS DIVIDED INTO
FOUR PARTS AS FOLLOWS:
ƒ
What are the didactic consequences of CS in the schools?
ƒ
Is CS educationally beneficial?
ƒ
Does the use of CS in a classroom situation slow down the pace of
teaching and learning to the extent that it is detrimental to content coverage
within the prescribed time?
ƒ
Is the practice of CS from English to Setswana in a classroom situation
discriminatory to non-Setswana speakers?
8.5.1 What are the didactic consequences of CS in the schools?
This research question was answered by the analysis of the teachers’ responses to the
questions contained in Table 5.15 and the learners’ responses to the questions
contained in Tables 6.9 and 6.13. The questions sought the respondents’ views on CS
use in the classroom, its didactic consequences in general, and specifically in lessons
taught in English as a subject, and in Setswana lessons.
(a) The teachers’ views
The results showed that, as indicated earlier, the teachers generally held positive views
about CS in the classroom, be it CS to Setswana or to English. There were more
teachers who did not support the view that CS negatively affected the attainment of a
proficiency in English among the learners than those who did (40% vs. 37%).
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Furthermore, 64% of the teachers of subjects taught in English were of the view that
CS to Setswana enhanced understanding content among the learners. The results
suggest that teachers who approved of CS were more concerned about the educational
benefits of CS than about the learners’ attainment of language proficiency in English.
Those who were apprehensive about its use were concerned about its effect on English
Language development. If learners were allowed to use Setswana in class, there would
be less practice in speaking English. They would fail to acquire fluency in speaking
English. Consequently, CS would have a negative effect on the learners’ attainment of
proficiency in English.
(b) The learners’ views
As with the teachers, the learners’ views were positive about CS use in teaching and
learning. For instance, the majority of the learners (67%) agreed that CS to Setswana
enhanced the learning of new concepts and also increased class participation, including
group discussions (74%). Furthermore, 49% did not believe that the use of CS
negatively impacted on acquiring a proficiency in English. On CS to English in a
Setswana class, the learners’ views were divided on whether or not it should be
permitted. Forty two percent were in agreement, while 43% disagreed -- the latter with
a marginal majority of only 1%. Despite this split response, the results also indicated
that the majority of the learners did not object to the teachers’ use of CS during a
Setswana lesson as long as it was educationally beneficial, but they objected to the
learners’ CS, as indicated by 65% and 76% respectively.
The results suggest that in the learners’ view, CS in a Setswana class has an
educational role as much as it has in other lessons taught in English. However, the
majority of the learners did not find it problematic for the teachers to CS to English
during the lesson but objected if the learners did the same. From the results, both the
teachers and the learners shared the view that the use of CS has positive didactic
consequences irrespective of whether it is CS to Setswana or CS to English. It
promotes lesson understanding among learners. While the teachers of the content
subjects were of the view that CS does not prevent learners from attaining a
proficiency in English, the teachers of language subjects, notably English (L and L) did
not share this view. While learners shared the above-stated positive views about CS,
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they were also of the opinion that the use of Setswana in general promotes learner
participation in the learning process in class or group discussions.
(c) Qualitative data
The qualitative data also showed that CS had some positive as well as some negative
didactic consequences in the schools.
i. Positive didactic consequences of CS
First CS contributes to the expansion of the vocabulary of a language by allowing the
creation of new words. This was more evident during Setswana lessons when words
that refer to concepts considered ‘new’ in the host language, or considered to be
‘foreign’ to the culture of the speakers of the host language were used, as observed by
Kembo-Sure and Webb (2000). Such concepts may not have equivalent words in the
host language. Even if they do, such words are hardly used in spoken communication
but are evident in written communication. For instance, a number of borrowed words
of English origin were used either with a Setswana prefix or suffix in class. Some
examples are as follows:
Table 8.1: Examples of Setswana nouns and verbs borrowed from English
Nouns
Setswana
Dustar-a (Extract 9, Bio.)
Bel-e (Extract 4, Bio.)
Di-classroom
Di-waere (Extract 7, HE)
English
duster
bell
classrooms
wires
Verbs
Setswana
Analaes-a Extract 40, HE)
Fit-a (Extract H.E.)
Fil-a
English
Analyse
Fit
Feel
What takes place in the examples above is not CS per se, but borrowing. It is
borrowing (nonce or proper) and CM that are credited for expanding the vocabulary of
Setswana and not CS. Other examples of borrowing used during lessons appeared in
the previous chapter (cf. Section 7.8.1, Tables 7.1 and 7.2).
Second, CS facilitates communication in the classroom because if it is used during a
lesson that requires the use of English, Setswana plays a supporting role. Because
almost all the learners understand Setswana, explaining some parts of the lesson or
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repeating a question in Setswana, to some extent, prompted some response from the
learners. This suggests that CS promotes understanding among the learners
(Adendorff, 1993; Akindele & Letsoela, 2001). Extract 28 (cf. Chapter Seven) from a
History lesson is an example of an instance whereby the teacher first asked a question
in English, but on realizing that there was no response, he CS to Setswana. The same
strategy was also used during Setswana lessons. Setswana was the main language of
instruction, and English played a supporting role. The teacher often used a borrowed
word from the guest language (English) in order to express an idea or concept that did
not have a Setswana form, or if it had, it was often in a form of a long phrase. Such
concepts are expressions of numbers, amount in currency, time, a period, or other
concepts that originally were foreign to the host language (cf. Section 7.8 in the
previous chapter). Some of the examples of borrowing are as follows:
ƒ
Five (number)
ƒ
Six hundred Pula (amount in currency)
ƒ
Four o’clock (time)
ƒ
School term (period)
ƒ
Khansele (Council) -- borrowing proper
ƒ
That’s very good (praise or positive reinforcement)
Third, as discussed above, CS increased learner participation. When the teacher spoke
in English or even asked a question in English, the learners did not readily respond.
But as soon as he / she CS to Setswana, some learners responded by commenting or
answering in Setswana (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 6). This implied that the learners
were more comfortable to respond in Setswana than in English. This was the tendency
during the lessons that were taught in English.
ii. Negative didactic consequences of CS
However, some of the didactic consequences of CS were negative. CS stifled learner
participation as illustrated during a Home Economics lesson (cf. Extract 39 below).
Learners had been used to participating in Setswana during lessons taught in English,
so much so that participation rate was low if a teacher addressed learners in English,
but participation improved as soon as a teacher CS to Setswana. For instance, even
when learners knew the answer to the teacher’s question or when they were called
351
upon to contribute to the lesson, they were reluctant to participate when they were
addressed in English. However, as soon as the teacher CS to Setswana, they also
responded in Setswana. This indicated that the learners had no confidence in speaking
English.
Extract 39: Home Economics (F and F)
Te: A silhouette go tewa our body … go tewa our body. … and now we look at the
it is meant
it is meant
shape…. So this is our body so mongwe le mongwe a itse gore figara ya gagwe
everyone must know how her / his figure
entse jang. So, from now on re ya go nna le mmirra (mirror) we should know
looks like.
we are going to have a mirror
gore re ntse jang. Mongwe le mongwe a itse ….ka ha mmele wa gagwe o ntseng
how we look like. Everyone must know how her / his body profile
ka teng.
is like.
One of my lecturers wa Fashion and Fabrics ko universiting used to tell us gore we
should talk to us.
Of
at university
that
You know, you look at the mirror and o bo o re “mirror mirror talk to me, talk to me”;
You say
o apara.
when you are dressing up
C: [GIGGLES.]
Te: You just wear your underwear hela, heh! …you just wear your underwear; o bo o
Only, heh!
then you
ipolelela gore, “hei I have a protruding tummy, I have a puffed face.” Nna I know
tell yourself that, “hei
Me
myself. So you look at yourself so that you choose the right clothes;
heh! Re a utlwana?
hei! Do we understand each other?
C: (some) Ee mma.
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Yes ma’m.
Te: So, go raya gore after this lesson mongwe le mongwe ha a boa kwa,
It means that
each one of you when you return from outside,
a bo a analaesa (analyze) mmele wa gagwe. So that you choose
must analyze
her / his body.
[CLASS INTERRUPTS.]
C: (in chorus) Ga re na diipone.
We have no mirrors.
Te: Mma?
What?
C: (in chorus) Ga re na diipone.
We have no mirrors
Te: Gakere re nale mirror ke o [POINTING AT THE CLASS MIRROR.], heh? Ee.
Isn’t that we have a mirror there
heh? Yes.
C: Aa! Re bo re apolela kae?
What! Where do we remove our clothes?
Te: O tsena hela ka kwa, you just come here, nnyaa re bo re tswala the curtains;
You just get in there,
no we just close
ga gona mathata.
there are no problems.
C: [LAUGHTER.]
There was minimal learner participation during this Home Economics lesson; but as
soon as the teacher CS by using long utterances in Setswana -- as illustrated in the
extract above -- the learners immediately responded in Setswana. The learners were
not keen to participate in English but only waited for the right opportunity when the
teacher CS to Setswana. They also took a cue from the teacher and responded in
Setswana.
Because of the prevalent use of CS during the lessons, the learners developed an
apprehension to speak English in class or they became accustomed to using Setswana
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in class. For instance, the extract below demonstrates a learner’s reluctance to
contribute during the lesson because he was being addressed in English.
Extract 40: History lesson
Te: Some actually … or let me just say ‘tiredness’ is obviously a … one of the
problems that these people may have encountered. Amh … what longest trip have you
ever travelled? [NAME.] … Have you ever travelled?
Ln7: No.
Te: What about you? [NAME.] A mme o bua nnete? [REFERRING TO LEARNER 7.]
Is he really telling the truth?
T: Ee?
Yes?
In the extract above, the teacher asks the learner if he has ever undertaken a long
journey, but the learner answers with a simple ‘No’. The teacher then asked the class
if the learner was telling the truth because he could sense that the learner was reluctant
to participate, perhaps for fear of being expected to use English. This was a lesson in
which the teacher did not CS as much as the other teachers of content subjects.
CS further affected negatively proficiency development in either English or Setswana
as also observed by Akindele and Letsoela (2001) in their study. However, this was
denied by the teachers of content subjects as well as by the learners (cf. Chapter 6,
Table 6.9). During the lessons of content subjects, CS was a common occurrence, so
much so that its use was considered normal. While its use did not seem to reflect the
teachers’ lack of fluency in English, it had a negative effect on fluency in English
among the learners. For instance, during English lessons, when the learners were
called upon to contribute, some attempted to use Setswana but had to use English when
the teacher objected. This implied that the learners had no confidence in speaking
English. By the same token, proficiency in Setswana was affected as well in that it
was common for Setswana teachers to CS or use borrowing even where it was
unnecessary to do so. As a result, the learners also took a cue from their teachers to CS
or to use borrowing, but this was not entertained by the teachers. While CS facilitates
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communication in the classroom, it affects the acquisition of a proficiency in English
as the target language. To some extent, fluency in Setswana as the national language is
affected, too. Consequently, the learners are neither fluent in any of the languages, or
become accustomed to what is often colloquially referred to as Tswenglish, which
refers to CM forms of Setswana and English, borrowing from Chris Patten (the former
and last Governor of Hong Kong when it was under the British rule)’s reference to CM
forms of Chinese and English as Chenglish (Lin, 1996: 49, in Ferguson, 2003: 38).
Although CS use facilitated spoken communication in the classroom, it did not
enhance written communication because it was limited to spoken communication
(Akindele & Letsoela, 2001). A similar observation was made by Letsebe (2002),
namely that the use of CS during the lesson was limited in that during written work,
such as tests, assignments, and examinations, CS was not permissible. During written
communication the learners were expected to use the Standard English or the Standard
variety of Setswana. Therefore, even though CS may assist the learners to understand
the lesson content, they may not necessarily articulate themselves in written
communication (Akindele & Letsoela, 2001). Consequently, their academic
achievement may be compromised. Hence there is a need to link CS with the learners’
academic achievement. Furthermore, in other situations where spoken communication
is essential, such as a formal interview for a job, or for a scholarship for further studies,
CS may not be a useful communication strategy since a candidate is expected strictly
to use formal English.
However, as the present study was limited to only oral communication and the
researcher did not have access to the learners’ written work, it was not possible to
establish the extent of the effect of CS on learners’ written work.
The majority of the teachers, irrespective of the subject they taught, shared the view
that CS improved learner understanding of the lessons. However, the proportion of the
English teachers (50%) followed by Home Economics (57%) who shared this view
was not as high as for the teachers of the other subjects (History: 71%; Biology: 79%).
This is an indication that, although the English teachers appreciated the instructional
benefit of CS, they had reservations about its use as it was contrary to their primary
objective. Furthermore, the majority of the teachers of Biology (50%), History (57%),
355
and Setswana (55%) did not share the view that the use of CS affected negatively the
learners’ attainment of proficiency in English. However, the majority of the English
teachers (62%) were of the view that CS prevented the learners from attaining a
proficiency in spoken English as already alluded to above. Therefore, the nature of the
subject that one taught had an effect on the teacher’s view about CS in the classroom
(except those of the Home Economics teachers as the proportion of those who agreed
and those who disagreed were equal (40%).
In summary, both the quantitative and qualitative data complemented each other,
showing that CS had both positive and negative didactic consequences.
On a positive note, CS allowed for effective communication flow between the teacher
and the class. This resulted in the enhancement of learning through increased learner
participation in the development of the lesson and in group discussions. The
qualitative data confirmed this point partially because sometimes the learners
participated if the teacher CS. At other times, CS did not yield any positive results,
that is, it did not increase learner participation in the lesson. This indicates that the
learners’ participation in the learning process is not solely determined by their ability
or inability to use the official language. This analysis was, however, beyond the scope
of this study, but further research can address it. Furthermore, both the quantitative
and qualitative data revealed that new concepts were better understood if explained in
Setswana. The qualitative data also revealed that the creation of new vocabulary was
made possible by the use of CM, borrowing proper, and nonce borrowing. However,
quantitative data did not confirm that it was the case.
On a negative note, CS to Setswana stifled learner participation and also created a
‘fear’ among the learners to speak English in class, as already explained above (cf.
Section 8.4.1 ii). This bordered on lack of confidence in expressing oneself in English,
caused by a lack of competence in speaking English. This was revealed by qualitative
data, contrary to what the respondents said, namely that they did not think CS affected
negatively the attainment of a proficiency in English among learners. Once again, the
present study could not support this fact, and future research in this regard would be
helpful.
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The results have shown that even though CS constitutes a violation of the LiEP of
Botswana, it serves an educational role as far as classroom instruction is concerned.
As pointed out earlier (cf. Section 8.4.1 i), if the learners understood the lesson content
better when presented in Setswana, is it really necessary to continue to use English? In
the researcher’s view, Setswana is already being used in the teaching of these subjects
through CS. Therefore, the argument that it is easier to learn new concepts in English
or the implication that these subjects are better learnt in English than in Setswana is
flawed. What is lacking is written material for these subjects in Setswana. The results
of this study call for a serious examination of the LiEP and its implementation to see if
it does not stifle learning. The teaching of English so that it becomes an effective
LoLT also needs to be revisited, not only at the level of senior secondary school, but as
early as at primary school.
8.5.2 Is CS educationally beneficial?
This research question was answered through the teachers’ responses that appeared in
Tables 5.11, 5.12, 5.13 and 5.16, and the learners’ responses that appeared in Tables
6.11 and 6.12. The questions probed if there were any educational benefits of using
CS in the classroom. The majority of the teachers (54%) were of the view that CS
(especially between English and Setswana) had educational benefits in that it
facilitated teaching and learning. The teachers’ views were confirmed by the results in
Table 5.11 (cf. Chapter 5) that outlined the different reasons that the teachers gave for
using CS in the classroom, the most popular being that CS promoted lesson
understanding among the learners (indicated by 51% of the teachers). The promotion
of Setswana as a national language was not the primary aim of CS as only 4% of the
teachers (three teachers) confirmed that they valued it. The researcher is however, of
the opinion that even though CS to Setswana was not primarly meant to promote
Setswana as a national language, indirectly, this was the case.
Learners too were allowed to use CS in class to perform different tasks (cf. Table
6.11). They were allowed to CS to Setswana to ask a question, answer the teacher’s
question, and to discuss class tasks. The least popular task was to summarize a lesson,
as indicated by only 3% of the respondents (two teachers). The different reasons that
the teachers gave for using CS and for allowing the learners to CS in the classroom
357
confirm what has been noted earlier, namely that CS was perceived as being
educationally beneficial. Although there was evidence of CS in the classroom, more
than 51% of the teachers indicated that they did not allow their learners to CS,
implying that 49% of the teachers allowed CS. The results, therefore, suggest that just
more than half the teachers did not object to CS.
The learners reiterated the teachers’ view that CS in the classroom had educational
benefits, be it CS to Setswana in a non-Setswana class or to English in a Setswana
class. Learning became easier when a teacher CS to Setswana and also increased
learner participation in the lesson, as indicated by 84% and 53% of the learners
respectively. CS in a Setswana class also made learning easier if certain Setswana
concepts not clearly understood were explained in English, as indicated by 58% of the
learners (an example is the use of borrowing). Consequently, the learners were
allowed to CS in class to perform different educational tasks, but to varying degrees.
The most common task was to ask a question; as indicated by 42% of the learners. As
was the case with teachers, the least performed task was to summarize a lesson. The
learners, therefore, confirmed the views of the teachers that they, too were allowed to
CS. However, 40% of the learners denied the use of CS in class, while the majority
(60%) admitted that it was used because it was perceived as educationally beneficial.
The learners were allowed to CS from time to time during a lesson even though not all
the teachers allowed it during their lessons, and that there was more CS among the
teachers than among the learners.
The qualitative data showed that CS in the classroom is a double-edged sword. On the
one hand, it is educationally beneficial; and on the other, it hampers language
development. During lessons of content subjects, teachers were concerned more about
ensuring that their learners understood the content of the lesson, and less about
assisting the learners to improve their proficiency in English as the LoLT, hence more
CS to Setswana took place. They saw the latter as the role of the teachers of English.
However, during English (L and L) lessons, teachers were very much aware that their
role was to promote English language proficiency among learners, so less CS to
Setswana took place.
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(a) Positive educational effects of CS
The use of CS points to the fact that Setswana and other indigenous languages can be
used effectively for educational purposes, as illustrated in Extract 41 below. It also
promotes the creation of terminology through a related concept, namely borrowing;
and helps to keep Setswana (for instance, the use of idiomatic expressions in
Setswana), and proverbs during lessons taught in ‘English’ alive.
Extract 41: Biology lesson
Te: Ha o nale minor kidney failure, you can correct that by keeping to a strict diet.
If you have
So,the strict diet e re buang ka yone ke gore motho wa teng o ta a … o ka advisiwa
gore a seka a ja eng se le sentsi, kana a je eng mo go ntsi?
that we are talking about is that the concerned person can be advised of
what not to eat in abundance or to eat in abundance? ...
What would be the other? Because that is the one e re reng ‘stick to the diet’;
Which we say
ga ke re?
isn’t it?
In the extract above, through CS, the teacher explains what ‘sticking to a strict diet’
entails.
Because the use of the standard variety of Setswana is mandatory in Setswana classes,
and at times the use of certain words or expressions may not be readily understood,
even by way of any form of borrowing, the teacher is able to use familiar English
words to promote understanding among the learners or to clarify a point as illustrated
in Extract 38 (cf. Chapter Seven). The teacher uses a familiar word, ‘speech’, in the
form of nonce borrowing to give a clue to her class as to what puisobatho (public
address) entails. Borrowing in a Setswana class is helpful educationally because much
Setswana terminology is not standardized, to such an extent that different authors may
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refer to the same concepts by using different names or words in their writings
(Molosiwa, 2006). To help learners to understand, the teacher may use a borrowed
word (often from English) that many learners may readily understand.
Notwithstanding the above, the effect of CS in a Setswana lesson did not fulfil the
same role. Setswana teachers generally discouraged CS or the use of any of its related
forms, even though they themselves used them. In Extract 42 below, the teacher
disapproves of CM:
Extract 42: Setswana lesson
Ln1: Bolwetse jwa AIDS bo ne bo setse bo tsene (
AIDS disease was already prevalent (
)
)
Ln1: Bo tsene mo fashioneng.
It (AIDS) was fashionable.
Te: Wa re mo fashioning?
You are saying fashionable?
In the extract above, when the learner used borrowing to come up with the word
fashioneng (fashionable) made of the noun fashion and the Setswana suffix –eng to
denote adverb of manner, the teacher quickly responded by repeating the word of
which she disapproved to signal to the learner that she disliked its use (line 3), and that
she expected him to use the standard variety of Setswana. From the qualitative data, it
was evident that Setswana teachers felt that their use of CS was justified in that usually
they used it to clarify concepts that appeared ambiguous to the learners, but they did
not find it justifiable for the learners to use CS or CM or even borrowing. No
objection was raised when the learners used the acronym AIDS, the use of which is
accepted due to a lack of an equivalent term in Setswana to refer to the same condition.
(b) Negative educational effects of CS
From the perspective of language development, constant use of CS creates a permanent
habit of using Setswana in a lesson that is supposed to be taught in English. While
learners have acquired BICS in English that is necessary in social settings, such as
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speaking to a friend, a relative or on the telephone, it is CALP that is compromised by
the constant use of CS in a teaching and learning situation. In that regard, CS in the
classroom appears to be a legitimate LoLT, albeit unofficially. During the lessons of
the content subjects, CS has created complacency among learners to practise using
English in class. As earlier explained, the tendency among the learners was to remain
silent even if they knew the answer to the teacher’s question, and knowing that their
silence would be interpreted to mean that they either did not understand the question or
that they were unable to express themselves in English. As a result, the teacher would
rescue the situation by CS to Setswana, and the learners would then seize the
opportunity to respond in Setswana. The result, therefore, is a lack of proficiency in
English among the majority of the learners. The situation is, however, different in
Setswana classes as teachers actively discourage CS to English.
Therefore, CS does not promote fluency in the target language that the students need as
the language for school-leaving examinations (Letsebe, 2002); for further studies and
training; and eventually for work -- nationally as well as internationally. It may also
result in a lack of fluency in either English or Setswana as the learners may become
accustomed to the interchangeable use of at least two languages in one speech event.
CS in the classroom has been legitimized by default even though it is against the LiEP.
Its constant use affects negatively the proficiency in English among the learners.
While the teachers are of the opinion that the use of CS helps in addressing an
educational problem, they are in the process creating another problem -- a languagedevelopment problem. Similarly, during Setswana lessons, CS does not promote
fluency in Setswana, especially among the learners for whom Setswana is a second
language.
In the view of the researcher, CS in the classroom is initiated by the teachers. They use
it more than the learners do. If they were not to use it and did not allow its use, the
learners would not use it. This is especially the case with the teachers whose HL is
Setswana. However, its use is not without merit. Teachers CS and allow learners to
CS to help the latter to counteract communication problems caused by a lack of
competence in English, which is the prescribed LoLT.
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Similarly, concerning Setswana lessons, the question is whether it is really necessary to
teach one language in another language, especially in a language in which the majority
of the learners are not fluent?
In conclusion, the results above have revealed that CS use in the classroom has positive
and negative educational effects. This is the thrust of this study, it addresses a point
raised by Webb (2002: 58) that ‘… the educational effects of CS have not been
researched’. The results have shown that the use of CS is positive during the lesson of
a subject taught in ‘English’ as it facilitates the explanation of content in the language
understood by the majority of the learners. Similarly, the use of CS in a Setswana
lesson allows for the explanation of certain concepts in English. Therefore, its use
appears to have positive results, as well.
8.5.3 Does the use of CS in a classroom situation slow down the pace
of teaching and learning (through the repetition of learning material
to the extent that it is detrimental to content coverage within the
prescribed time)?
This research question was answered after analyzing the teachers’ and learners’
responses to the questions contained in Table 5.14 and Table 6.16 respectively. The
results show that the majority of both the teachers (69%) and learners (78%) did not
find CS use a waste of teaching time. It did not affect the pace of the lesson because it
was not mere repetition of the lesson material presented originally in English.
Therefore, teaching and learning were not compromised. Consequently, CS use is seen
as having no adverse effect on curriculum coverage.
The qualitative data also confirmed the views of the questionnaire respondents and
showed that CS use in the classroom did not slow down the pace of teaching and
learning and had no negative consequences on content coverage. CS did not involve
presentation of the lesson material first in one language; and then in the other language.
Rather, it was a systematic alternative use of the two languages as the lesson
progressed. Where there was repetition, it was minimal and inconsequential as it
served only to clarify a point made earlier (Akindele & Letsoela, 2001). Such practice
was used as a questioning technique during lessons of subjects taught in ‘English’;
especially content subjects. The teacher often repeated in Setswana a question asked
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earlier in English when there was no response from the class (cf. Chapter 7, Extract
28). The minimal use of repetition was observed also during Setswana lessons. Often
the teacher made an utterance in Setswana and then repeated it in English to use a
familiar term that learners readily understood, as shown in the two extracts below:
Extract 43: Setswana lesson
Te: Le fa go nale bo Tautona ba mafatshe a sele, fa o emelela, pele o dumedisa, o
tshwanetse go leboga motsamaisa tiro pele e be e le gone o ka dumedisang bo Tautona.
Motsamaisa tiro ke ene a tle a bidiwe Master of Ceremony, Director of Ceremony.
[English]
Te: Even if Presidents of other countries are present, when you stand up (to speak)
before you greet (them) you must thank the Master of Ceremony first; and then you can
greet the Presidents. The Master of the Ceremony is the one usually referred to as
(English).
Extract 44: Setswana lesson
Te: Mmele wa puisobatho o ne o tshwanetse go nna le eng?
The body of a public address is supposed to have what?
Ln: O tshwanetse go bo o itse gore o a go bua ka ga eng.
You are supposed to know what you are going to talk about.
Te: Ka sekgowa ke mo go tweng knowledgeable.
In English that is referred to as knowledgeable.
In the two examples above, the teacher uses a related concept, nonce borrowing, in the
form of English words or expressions -- Master of Ceremony / Director of
Ceremony and knowledgeable -- that she feels the learners are familiar with and will
readily understand. Therefore, the form of repetition used is to provide clarification
only where it is deemed necessary, instead of repeating the entire sentence.
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Therefore, in the present study, the researcher found that there was no deliberate effort
to repeat an entire lesson or part of it in Setswana as was the case in the research done
by Martin-Jones and Saxena (2001). Further, unlike in the study of Akindele and
Letsoela (2001) in Lesotho, where Sesotho was used to repeat the lesson material
presented initially in English, in this study there was no repetition in Setswana of the
lesson material initially presented in English or part of it, except for the teacher’s
question. This research is, however, similar to that of the Mauritian study undertaken
by Bissoonauth and Offord (2001), in which the teacher CS from English to either
French or Creole to accommodate the learner’s deficient linguistic system and to
facilitate comprehension. CS in this way is referred to as an exploratory choice within
the MM of Myers-Scotton (Myers-Scotton, 1993a; Finlayson and Slabbert, 1997; and
Kamwangamalu, 2000: 62). In the present study, CS during the lessons of subjects
taught in ‘English’ was used for the same purpose. Therefore, it could not be
considered to be a waste of time. It had no detrimental effect on curriculum coverage.
8.5.4 Is the practice of CS from English to Setswana in a classroom
situation discriminatory to non-Setswana speakers?
This research question was answered through the learners’ responses to the question
contained in Table 6.10 (cf. Chapter 6). The question was posed directly to the
learners as the direct recipients of classroom instruction. The aim was to solicit the
views of the learners who did not speak Setswana on the effect of CS in the classroom.
The majority of the learners (65%) were of the view that it was not fair to use Setswana
in a class that contained non-Setswana speakers. The responses to this question are
interesting, given that nearly all the learners in the study were citizens of Botswana
(99.3%) or 2 239 learners, while non-citizens accounted for only 0.67% or 15 learners.
The latter were usually learners whose parents were from other parts of Africa or
elsewhere, and had come to Botswana for employment purposes. Hence they had little
or no understanding of Setswana. Despite what the respondents (both teachers and
learners) stated about CS, the majority of the learners were mindful of the fact that the
educational benefits they reap from CS use may be disadvantageous to their other
classmates who did not fully understand Setswana.
The results from the quantitative analysis are contradictory to what the qualitative data
revealed. During lesson observations, the researcher noted that the teachers CS freely
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but none of the few non-Batswana learners objected to CS use or signalled that they
were being disadvantaged by its use. Even where the lesson material was partially
repeated in Setswana, for instance, in the form of a question posed earlier in English
and then repeated in Setswana, the assumption was that the non-Batswana learners had
benefited from the presentation made earlier in English. Therefore, from the
qualitative data, there was no visible evidence to suggest that non-Batswana learners
were being discriminated against by the use of CS. Because there was a minute
proportion of the learners who were not Batswana (0.67%), the benefits of CS use
seemed to outweigh its non-usage. Furthermore, the data from the quantitative
analysis showed that only one learner could not understand Setswana, thereby
suggesting that 14 learners who were not citizens of Botswana understood Setswana.
In addition, 0.45% of the learners (ten learners) could not speak Setswana, suggesting
that five learners who were not citizens of Botswana could speak it. It is, however,
the degree to which they spoke or understood Setswana that varied from learner to
learner.
In summary, both the teachers and learners agreed that there were positive didactic
consequences of CS use in the classroom, irrespective of the subject taught. However,
in a Setswana lesson, the learners had no objection to the use of CS by the teachers but
they objected to its use by the learners. The qualitative data also confirmed the view
above even though there were some negative consequences, too. Furthermore, both the
teachers and learners agreed that educationally, CS use was beneficial and that it was
used more by the teachers than by the learners. As CS use did not involve repetition in
Setswana of the lesson content previously presented in English, it was not viewed as
affecting negatively the pace of teaching and learning. However, the learners
concurred that CS use (especially from English to Setswana) could disadvantage a few
learners who were not Setswana speakers. It appears that this setback was overlooked
because of the insignificant number of the non-citizen learners involved, namely -- 15
(0.67%).
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8.6 RESEARCH QUESTION FIVE
This question was divided into three sections as follows:
ƒ
Does the use of CS in a classroom situation violate the LiEP of Botswana?
ƒ
Is the LiEP consistent with the practical realities of the classroom situation?
ƒ
If this is the case, should the LiEP be revised to ensure that the LoLT promotes
maximum delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills development?
8.6.1 Does the use of CS in a classroom situation violate the LiEP of
Botswana?
This research question was addressed partly through the teachers’ responses contained
in Tables 5.3, 5.17 (cf. Chapter Five), as well as through the learners’ responses
contained in Table 6.4 (cf. Chapter Six).
According to the Revised National Policy on Education (RNPE) of 1994 (Botswana
Government White Paper No. 2, 1994), English is the LoLT throughout the school
system from Standard Two of primary-school level. This is because of its status as an
international language for education and for work as indicated by 67% of the teachers
(cf. Chapter Five, Table 5.3). Notwithstanding the above, evidence from the responses
given by the teachers and learners indicate that there is a prevalent use of Setswana
and, to some extent, the local language of the area (Ikalanga) in class during teaching
and learning. The following responses confirm this view:
The number of teachers who had no problem regarding CS was almost the same as for
those who found CS problematic (45% vs. 47%). Eight percent of the teachers did not
give their view. This suggests that they either did not CS or that they were not sure
about its effect on teaching. CS was, therefore, used to address the language problem
confronting the teachers and learners in the classroom. Consequently, the LiEP of
Botswana is violated in the classroom.
The qualitative data also confirmed that there was a prevalence of CS in the classroom,
irrespective of the subject taught. This constitutes a violation of the LiEP of Botswana.
It was observed that because there was more CS use during the lessons of the content
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subjects than during the lessons of the language subjects, there was more
“contravention” of the LiEP during lessons of Biology, History and Home Economics
than during lessons of English (L and L), and those of Setswana. The researcher did
not witness any use of the local language (Ikalanga) for educational purposes.
Although there was less CS use during Setswana lessons and more use of CM and the
different forms of borrowing (even where there was an alternative Setswana word),
nonetheless, this was also a violation of the LiEP. Teaching and learning of Setswana
were to be done exclusively in Setswana. This was contrary to what the objectives of
the Setswana syllabus states (Botswana General Certificate of Secondary Education
and Teaching Syllabus for Setswana, 2000). Because Setswana as the national
language is comprehensible to all the learners taking Setswana as a subject, there was
no need to CS to English to enhance understanding.
The results have shown that the use of CS in the classroom is considered to be a
contravention of the LiEP. However, in terms of the subjects taught in ‘English’, this
violation may not be deliberate. Rather, it is meant to address the learners’ lack of
proficiency in English. This implies that the LiEP either does not adequately address
the problem of English language acquisition or, if it does, the problem lies in the
implementation thereof. The pronouncement of the LiEP that English should be used
as LoLT from the second year of schooling onwards (Botswana Government White
Paper No. 2, 1994) implies that the learners who enter senior-secondary school have
had nine years of instruction in English. This comprises the learning of English as a
subject and also learning other school subjects in English, except Setswana and French.
The LiEP was meant to address the problem of the late introduction of English as
LoLT after four years of primary schooling, which was regarded as too late to do so,
and has hence contributed towards poor English proficiency among the learners (NCE
2, 1993: 113). If the current LiEP or the teaching of English was effective, then CS in
the classroom should not have been an issue among the learners in the present study
because they entered primary school after the revision of the LiEP in 1994. (The F 5
and F 4 classes entered primary school in 1995 and 1996 respectively.) However, the
results have shown that CS continues to be viewed as a viable teaching strategy owing
to communication problems in the classroom. This suggests that the learners have not
acquired an adequate proficiency in English. Therefore the current LiEP has not
achieved its intended objective.
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Although minimal, the use of CS during Setswana lessons appears to be unwarranted.
Because Setswana is intelligible to all the learners studying it as a subject, CS to
English does not enhance the teaching of Setswana. If the aim is to ensure that the
learners develop their proficiency skills in Setswana, the use of English is counterproductive. Although evidence from both quantitative and qualitative data has shown
that the teachers of Setswana discouraged learners from CS in a Setswana class (even
though they themselves CS), the practice of CS “pollutes” Setswana as a language. A
similar observation was made by Hussein (1999) that CS from Arabic to English was
viewed as a pollutant of the Arabic language. Similarly, it was reported that in Hong
Kong, students found CS ‘irritating’ (Gibbons, 1987, in Lawson & Sachdev, 2000:
1345), and that there have been repeated official calls for teachers to refrain from what
is called ‘mixed code’ teaching or what the last governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten
referred to as ‘Chinglish’, referring to a mix of Chinese and English when he said (Lin,
1996: 49 quoting from the South China Morning Post Report of 13 May 1994, in
Ferguson, 2003: 38):
What we don’t want is for young people to be taught in Chinglish, rather than in either
English or Chinese, and that’s what we are trying to avoid at the moment.
8.6.2 Is the LiEP consistent with the practical realities of the
classroom situation?
This research question was answered through the teachers’ and learners’ responses
contained in the following teachers’ tables: Tables 5.2 and 5.6 (cf. Chapter Five); and
the learners’ tables: Tables 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.5, 6.6 and 6.17 (cf. Chapter Six). The
objective was mainly to investigate the teachers’ and learners’ proficiency in English
and, to some extent, in Setswana in the classroom. It also investigated the use of CS
by both groups of respondents.
a. Teachers’ views on the proficiency of the learners in English
The teachers’ self-reports on fluency in English and Setswana were excluded here
because, officially, the teachers could teach either in English or Setswana, depending
on the nature of the subject they taught. Furthermore, such self-reports have already
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been presented in Chapter Four (cf. Table 4. 6). The focus, therefore, was on the
teachers’ evaluation of their learners’ proficiency in English and how they CS between
English and Setswana in the classroom.
The results pertaining to proficiency in English showed that the learners experienced
problems with writing, understanding and interpreting (test or examination questions)
domains. The speaking domain was problematic but not as problematic as the other
two mentioned. The results on English proficiency here refer to CALP rather than to
BICS. At this level, learners have acquired sufficient BICS to be able to interact
socially because according to Cummins (1979), a conversational fluency to a
functional level in a second language such as English in Botswana is possible within
approximately two years of initial exposure, whereas CALP takes between five to
seven years to acquire. The results on learners’ competence rate in speaking and
understanding are significant in that they suggest that CS was likely to occur in the
classroom to facilitate communication between teachers and learners.
b. Teachers’ views of learners’ language use in class
With respect to the learners’ CS use in the classroom, the majority of the teachers
(57%) -- both language and content teachers -- confirmed that learners CS between
English and Setswana from time to time. In addition, the majority of the teachers
(66%) said that the learners hardly speak without CS. Furthermore, the majority of the
teachers of Setswana indicated that the learners use both the standard variety of
Setswana and vernacular Setswana with more use of the latter than the former as
indicated by 64% and 70% respectively. Although the central focus of this study is not
on Setswana per se, it nonetheless has an effect on CS as CS is used mainly between
English and Setswana. The results, therefore, suggest that there is a prevalence of CS
in the classroom, more specifically CS between English and Setswana.
The results also showed that both boys and girls CS to Setswana, but more boys than
girls CS in class as indicated by 79% of the teachers. In addition, more girls than boys
expressed themselves well in both spoken and written English, as indicated by 51%
and 50% respectively. Nonetheless, the difference in the number of teachers who said
both boys and girls expressed themselves well in spoken and written English was
significant at 41% and 49% respectively. The researcher can only surmise that
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proficiency among girls could be due to the girls’ desire to master English as a
prestigious language. A similar observation was made by Bissoonauth and Offord
(2001).
The results suggest that the learners, irrespective of their gender, CS in class. While
CS by girls may not necessarily be due to a difficulty in self-expression in English, it is
likely to be the case with boys.
c. Learners’ self-reports on proficiency in English and Setswana
The results now presented are based on the learners’ self-reports on their proficiency in
English as the target language. The results also present the teachers’ proficiency rate
in English as evaluated by their learners. The evaluation also included the teachers’
English proficiency by gender and by subject taught.
The results (cf. Table 6.1 in Chapter Six) indicated that the learners showed
competence in reading. However, they experienced problems with writing (be it in
class work or during examination) as well with understanding and speaking English.
The latter two suggest that CS was likely to occur in the classroom to aid both the
speaking and comprehension of English among the learners.
As previously explained it was not possible for the researcher to confirm or refute the
learners’ assertion about their writing skills in class work or during an examination as
the study was limited to spoken communication only. However, the data from the
qualitative analysis would assist in confirming or refute the learners’ assertion about
their spoken English as well as their understanding of the language. Furthermore,
because of the unavailability of oral examinations in either English or Setswana
(Nkosana, 2006), the question on examinations only refer to written examinations.
The learners also evaluated their own language use by gender and the results (cf.
Table 6.17 in Chapter Six) showed that boys and girls CS to Setswana in class, yet
both expressed themselves well in spoken English, as indicated by 58% and 47%
respectively. However, 37% of the learners said the girls expressed themselves well in
spoken English, more so than the boys; confirming what the teachers said above about
the learners’ proficiency in English.
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d. Learners’ views on teachers’ language use
Regarding the teachers’ proficiency in English in class, the results (cf. Chapter Six,
Table 6.3) showed that almost all the learners were of the view that their teachers were
most proficient in English (even though 41% later said their teachers’ CS could be due
to a lack of proficiency in English). However, they did not rate their speaking skills as
highly as the other language skills. The explanation for this could be that the learners’
were more exposed to the teachers’ speaking skill than to the other skills.
Evaluating the teachers’ language use in class by gender (cf. Chapter Six, Table 6.5),
showed that during lessons taught in English the majority of the learners (54%) said
that both the male and the female teachers CS to Setswana, yet they expressed
themselves well in spoken English. However, comparing the two groups of teachers,
more learners said that male teachers were more fluent in spoken English yet they CS
more than their female colleagues. In a Setswana class, both the male and female
teachers CS to English, but male teachers CS more, as indicated by 43% and 49%
respectively. This suggests that among the teachers who CS, the majority were male
teachers. It is worth noting that numerically, there were more female teachers of
Setswana than their male colleagues -- 19 female teachers (76%) and six male teachers
(24%).
The learners’ views on the teachers’ language use in class (by subject) in relation to
CS, fluency in spoken English and spoken Setswana were summarized (cf. Chapter
Six, Table 6.6). The results show the following about CS in the classroom:
ƒ
CS occurs across lessons in all the subjects, but it occurs the least during
Setswana lessons.
ƒ
Among subjects taught in English, CS occurs the least during English (L and L)
lessons.
ƒ
Biology teachers CS more than teachers of other subjects taught in English.
ƒ
History teachers are the most proficient in English.
ƒ
The language teachers (the majority being Setswana teachers) are the most
proficient in Setswana when compared to the other teachers.
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The results suggest that the situation in the classroom is not consistent with what the
LiEP requires. While the LiEP states that the teaching and learning of all subjects
except Setswana should be done in English only, the evidence from the quantitative
and qualitative data shows that this is not practical, given the low proficiency rate in
English among the learners. It appears that currently, the teachers are of the view that
if they were to adhere to the stipulations of the LiEP, little or no learning will take
place. Hence CS is used mainly in the teaching of subjects taught in ‘English’ (but less
in the English (L and L) classes, as already stated) to assist the learners to follow the
lesson. The LiEP, inadvertently, appears to be the problem. The positive and negative
implications of this practice have been discussed already in 6.4.2 above. Furthermore,
the causes of the low proficiency rates in English among the learners should be
investigated and possible remedies suggested. This is, however, beyond the scope of
the present study.
While the LiEP calls for the exclusive use of English as the LoLT of all subjects except
Setswana, classroom reality shows that there is more use of Setswana in the teaching of
almost all the subjects. However, evidence from the classroom also showed that the
teachers expressed themselves very well and did not display any deficiency in selfexpression, but they CS to Setswana to assist the learners to follow the lesson. In the
researcher’s view, in some cases the teachers CS out of habit, as displayed by mostly
Setswana teachers.
While both the teachers and learners concurred that the former (teachers) were
proficient in English, they did not concur on the level of proficiency of the latter
(learners). The learners highly rated their English proficiency (Chapter 6, Table 6.1),
but the teachers thought otherwise. Evidence from the classroom also confirmed the
teachers’ views as the learners’ participation was seriously hampered by an inability to
express themselves as demonstrated already in the discussion of the preceding
questions. They participated minimally during the lessons in which English was the
LoLT. Often the teacher’s question was met with silence unless he / she CS to
Setswana, (cf. Chapter Seven, Extracts 6 and 27) for Biology and History lessons
respectively). The reality is that the prescription by the LiEP that English is the LoLT
is counterproductive in that it stifles class participation as previously demonstrated in
Chapter Seven. The learners are not confident enough to express themselves freely in
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English in the presence of their peers. At times, they fail to comprehend fully what the
teacher is saying unless the teacher CS to Setswana and repeats the same information.
This scenario brings into question the appropriateness and effectiveness of the LiEP. It
seems as though the LiEP is not what it is intended to be. It acts as a barrier to
communication and, consequently, to learning instead of facilitating it. The language
of learning should not act as a barrier but should instead facilitate learning because as
Webb (2002) rightly observed, language is central to all levels of educational
development because it is through it that knowledge is transferred and specialialized
skills as well as attitudes are developed through it.
The results further suggest that, if the problem of communication in English is still
experienced at senior-secondary school level, it is much worse at the lower levels of
education -- at primary and junior secondary school levels, as observed by Arthur
(2001) and Letsebe (2002) respectively. Furthermore, the problem is likely to recur at
tertiary level unless remedial measures are put in place. To merely allow the status
quo to continue, that is, allowing uncontrolled CS during lessons, worsens the
situation. Because of its importance educationally and professionally at the national
and international levels, it makes educational and professional sense to learn English
and be able to acquire competence in its four domains. However, it is not inevitable
that it should be used as the only LoLT, excluding a national language like Setswana
that evidence has shown, is spoken and understood by the majority of the learners, and
is already playing an instructional role in teaching and learning even in classes of
subjects taught in ‘English’.
8.6.3 Should the LiEP be revised to ensure that the LoLT promotes
maximum delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills
development?
This research question was answered through the teachers’ responses to questions
contained in (Chapter Five, Table 5.4) and the learners’ responses to questions
contained in (Chapter Six, Table 6.7). The questions probed if it was not necessary to
revise the LiEP to include Setswana and other local languages as LoLT’s in primary
schools or even throughout the education system; and to cease using English as LoLT
and instead, teach it as a second / foreign language.
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The results showed that the majority of the teachers (53%) and learners (83%)
supported the view that the LiEP should be revised to include Setswana as LoLT; with
a further 61% of the learners supporting its use at all levels of education alongside
English because of its status as a national language. They recognized the important
role it plays in education, especially at primary-school level. This is consistent with
the observation made by Bamgbose (1991: 66) that the learner’s language plays a very
important role in knowledge acquisition and skills development because learning
through it quickens information processing.
However, just over half the number of the teachers (51%) supported the inclusion of
other local languages in education, well over half of the learners (56%) did not support
this view. The teachers’ view was consistent with an observation made during the
NCE 2 (1993: 111) that the learners’ local languages were important in the early
learning years of their speakers. While the government acknowledges the importance
of introducing other local languages in the education system, it nonetheless shows no
commitment to effect this implementation. Teaching can only be done if the
communities affected request that their local languages be taught as a co-curricular
activity (NCE 2: 1993: 115). In the researcher’s view, this is not realistic given the
rural nature of many Botswana communities. Very few communities would have the
courage to make such a request to government. Besides, one wonders why this request
should come from the communities when the practice has been that Government takes
the final decision on all matters educational on behalf of its citizens. The government
should have taken the decision to introduce the teaching of these subjects as a cocurricular activity without resting the decision with the parents, even though the
manner of offering these subjects as co-curricular activities smacks of a lack of
commitment on the part of government to introduce them. There seems to be a
deliberate effort on the part of Government to ignore this important national issue that
is being viewed as the marginalization of the other local languages besides Setswana.
If the status quo continues, it will eventually lead to a language shift (Kamwangamalu,
2000) and a cultural shift in favour of Setswana and its culture. Consequently,
language death (Kamwangamalu, 2000) and cultural death will result as the speakers of
these languages will not be able to pass on their languages and cultures from
generation to generation. Language and culture are inseparable as it is through
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language that one can express one’s culture. Therefore, suppression of a language
implies suppression of its culture.
Furthermore, the majority of the teachers (78%) and learners (61%) supported the
continued use of English as LoLT and objected to the view that it be taught only as a
second or foreign language. This implied that they supported the use of the two
languages - English and Setswana - as LoLT but not the total replacement of the
former (English) with the latter (Setswana). This implies that both the teachers and
learners recognize the important role of English in their educational and working lives.
Despite the difficulties that the learners have in acquiring proficiency in English, the
majority of the teachers do not want the status quo to change, obviously due to the
status of English as a language of educational and career opportunities. As a language
associated with power, English can be used either to include or exclude a person from
a social group. Consequently, maximum content delivery, and full acquisition of
knowledge and skills development will continue to be compromised. The end result is
that the learners will continually fail to reach their full potential. The LiEP promotes a
language that also happens to be a foreign language to the majority of the teachers and
learners.
However, the results suggest that, to address the learners’ lack of proficiency in
English, the teachers call for the introduction of Mother-Tongue Based Bilingual
Education (MTBBE) that will ensure the inclusion of Setswana and other local
languages as additional LoLTs. This is not unexpected, given that the results (both
quantitative and qualitative) thus far have demonstrated that already Setswana is used
in the classroom via CS and, to a limited extent, Ikalanga as a local language is used as
well. (The researcher, however, did not observe the use of a local language -- Ikalanga
during any of the lessons observed although the results from the quantitative data
indicated so). Therefore, the revision of the LiEP to include Setswana as an alternative
LoLT and to introduce the other local languages in the education system would be
merely formalizing a practice that both the teachers and learners say exists.
The learners’ views, it seems, were influenced by the fact that Setswana, through CS,
was being used already during the lessons of different subjects, while the local
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languages were hardly used or not used at all. Therefore, it was inconceivable to them
that educationally, these languages could function fully.
Despite the teachers’ positive views about Setswana and other local languages stated
above, a significant number of the teachers, although the minority, held an opposing
view. Forty percent and almost one third (32%) objected to the use of Setswana and
other local languages in education respectively. Seventeen percent of the teachers said
that they were not sure about the use of other local languages in education. These were
teachers who did not speak the local language or even if they did, could not use it as it
was not provided for in the LiEP.
The qualitative data showed that although English is the prescribed LoLT, it is only
theoretically the case. Practice suggests otherwise. Setswana as the national language
already plays a role in education. Therefore its use as an alternative LoLT needs
consideration. Both the teachers and learners are comfortable with using Setswana in
class. Teachers use it to simplify the lesson content that may appear ambiguous to the
learners, and the learners use it to make a contribution to the lesson. Furthermore, it
was evident that the learners were more confident participating in Setswana than in
English during the lesson. However, the same cannot be said about the local language
(Ikalanga) as its use in class either for an educational or a social purpose was almost
non-existent. Although a significant number of the teachers and learners spoke and
understood it well, it was hardly used except for the two incidents already referred to
under Research Question Two.
The results from both the quantitative and qualitative data have shown that a revision
of the LiEP is necessary to accommodate Setswana and the other local languages.
Once the LiEP covers the other languages besides English, the education system will
respond accordingly by providing the necessary resources to support the new
dispensation in the form of the training of the teachers to teach these languages, and
the provision of written material in these languages. This will not only create
employment but will go a long way towards addressing a malpractice that threatens
national unity. Consequently, diversity in unity will be realized. An exclusive LiEP,
such as the present one, gives the impression that Batswana can be developed only
through the use of the English language. However, this is a fallacy as observed by
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Bamgbose (1991), Batibo (2004), Kamwangamalu (2004: 34 quoting Diop, 1999: 6-7),
and Shope, Mazwai, and Makgoba (1999: xi, in Kamwangamalu, 2004: 36), as well,
that ‘… you cannot develop a people in a foreign language’. If the African
Renaissance is to be realized, and Botswana subscribes to this notion, then a
reformulation of an inclusive LiEP will go a long way towards endorsing this notion.
8.7 RESEARCH QUESTION SIX: DOES THE CURRENT LiEP PROMOTE
NEGATIVE PERCEPTIONS ABOUT SETSWANA AND OTHER LOCAL
LANGUAGES?
This research question, like the previous one, challenges the effect of LiEP on
Setswana as a national language, as well as on the other local languages. The question
was answered through the responses of the questions contained in Tables 5.18 and 5.21
(cf. Chapter Five) addressed to the teachers, and the responses of the questions
contained in Tables 6.20 and 6.21 (cf. Chapter Six) addressed to the learners. The
questions solicited the respondents’ views on how they perceived the use of Setswana
and other local languages in education.
8.7.1 Teachers’ perceptions about Setswana in education
The teachers’ perceptions about using Setswana in education were somehow positive
as already expressed in Research Question Five above (cf. Section 8.6.3). The results
showed that there were more teachers (51%) who agreed that Setswana should not only
be used in Setswana classes but also in lessons of other subjects (the majority of them
being teachers whose HL is Setswana, or teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’) than
those who were opposed to this practice (the majority of them being teachers whose
HL is either Ikalanga or English -- 51% vs. 43%). However, there were more teachers
who did not view the use of Setswana in class as a sign of national pride than those
who did (44% vs. 33%). The teachers’ views by HL were not unexpected. For
educational considerations, teachers whose HL is Setswana would support any move
that would enhance the status of their language; and teachers whose HL is Ikalanga
would oppose any move that further marginalizes their HL. The teachers whose HL is
English (two only) would not support any move that reduces the status of their HL that
already is seen as prestigious to know. However, the positive views about Setswana
held by the majority of the teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’, including those
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with more than one HL, suggest that these teachers have accepted the status of
Setswana as a national language.
8.7.2 Learners’ perceptions about Setswana in education
The learners’ views about the use of Setswana in education were negative despite their
support earlier in the previous question that it be used as LoLT alongside English. For
instance, the results showed that the majority of the learners (45%) were of the opinion
that it was easier for them to learn new concepts in English than in Setswana. The
results also showed that the majority of the learners (51%) did not support the use of
Setswana outside Setswana lessons, thereby implying that they did not support its use
as LoLT except in Setswana lessons. The majority of the learners shared this view
despite their different HLs (Setswana: 52%, Ikalanga: 51%, English: 87.5%, Others:
49% and learners with more than one home language: 48%).
8.7.3 Teachers’ perceptions about using local languages (besides
Setswana) in education
The teachers’ perceptions about using the local language, such as Ikalanga in
education, were generally negative and did not support its use in class (even though in
the previous question, they stated that other local languages should also be used for
teaching and learning). For instance, 75% of the teachers, irrespective of HL, objected
to the learners’ use of their local language in class. Fifty eight percent said that they
did not use the learners’ local language in class to enhance learner understanding. The
majority of them were teachers whose HL is Setswana, or English or Ikalanga. The
latter’s view was unexpected as they shared a HL with the majority of the learners.
Similarly, 69% shared the view that allowing the learners to use their own local
language affected negatively the improvement of their proficiency in spoken English.
The teachers shared this view, irrespective of their HL.
Despite the negative perceptions of CS to a local language expressed above, there were
some teachers who were of the view that the learners’ local language had a role to play
in education. For instance, there were more teachers who stated that there was a need
to use other local languages in class besides English than those who had reservations
about it (47% vs. 32%); and allowing the learners to use their local language in class
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increased class participation than those who did not think so (40% vs. 23%). In both
instances, the former were teachers whose HL is Setswana, or Ikalanga, or ‘Others’;
the latter were the two teachers whose HL is English. However, some teachers
indicated that they were not sure about the effect of the use of a local language in class.
This suggests that these were teachers who either never CS to the learners’ local
language during their lessons because it was not permissible officially; to do so, or
because they did not speak it.
8.7.4 Learners’ perceptions about using local languages in education
Similarly, the learners’ views about the use of the other local languages in education
were also negative. This was consistent with their earlier view on whether or not other
local languages should be used for teaching and learning. The results showed that,
generally, the majority of the learners did not view the use of a local language as
beneficial in education. For instance, 57% of them did not think that it was easier for
them to learn in their own language than in English; 52% indicated that they objected
to the teachers’ use of a local language in class, and also did not see the need for the
use of other local languages in class besides English, as 44% of them had indicated.
Although the majority of the learners (53%) admitted that sometimes the teachers CS
to a local language in class, they did not believe that the use of a local language was
educationally beneficial. The learners also did not believe that it influenced positively
their acquisition of spoken English, as indicated by 67%.
Notwithstanding these negative views about the use of local languages in education,
there were a few positive ones, too. For instance, the majority of the learners (49%)
agreed that allowing the learners to use their local language increased class
participation (Akindele and Letsoela, 2001). The latter view is puzzling and
contradictory in that, if the use of a local language increases class participation, then it
implies that learning is taking place. Conversely, if the use of a local language has no
positive educational value, that should include its effect on class participation and,
eventually, learning. This suggests that the learners’ negative views on the role of
local languages in education are borne out of a mindset and attitude that local
languages can not function effectively in education than reality.
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The results also showed that a significant number of the learners, even though in the
minority, had positive views on using local languages in education. For instance, 40%
did not object to a teacher’s use of a local language in class, as opposed to 52% who
objected. Forty two percent saw the need to use local languages in class, as opposed to
44% who said there was no need. In the latter case, the difference was so insignificant
that it is plausible to say that the learners’ view was almost split. Furthermore, 23%
were of the view that allowing the learners to use their local language in class did not
adversely affect their English proficiency, and more than a quarter of the learners
(27%) were of the view that it was easier for them to learn in their own language than
in English. This suggest that some learners, although in the minority, recognized the
educational benefits of using the local languages for teaching and learning even though
it was not officially permissible to use them.
8.7.5 Summary of teachers’ and learners’ views on using Setswana in
education
The results indicate that the teachers, although not that many, were of the view that
Setswana, as a national language, has a role to play in education. However, the
number of those who were opposed to its use (43%) signifies that some teachers were
apprehensive about using Setswana for teaching and learning other subjects apart from
Setswana. This could be due to a lack of technical terms to explain abstract concepts
foreign to Setswana. Its limited work prospects could be a contributory factor, as well
as the fact that it is not as prestigious a language as English.
Again not many teachers regarded the use of Setswana in class as a way of promoting
it as a national language as it was outside their mandate. Rather, it was used to
overcome a communication problem resulting from the lack of proficiency in English
among the learners, as already discussed in the previous questions. Contrarily, the
results implied that the learners’ perceptions about the use of Setswana were negative
as they believed that new concepts were better learnt in English than in Setswana, and
they did not support the use of Setswana outside Setswana lessons, either.
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8.7.6 Summary of the teachers’ and learners’ views on using local
languages in education
The results showed that generally the majority of the teachers and the learners had
negative perceptions about the use of a local language in class for teaching and
learning. There were fewer teachers and learners who supported its use and thought
that it had a role to play in education than those who objected to its use. A local
language is viewed as having a minimal role to play in education, and is therefore
regarded as a LFIC language.
The responses revealed that, owing to the promotion of English in Botswana to such an
extent that it is the main language that is used in a HFFC, negative perceptions have
been created about Setswana and the other local languages. Setswana is viewed as
having a minimal role in education. The situation is even worse for a local language; it
is viewed as almost of no value educationally. Therefore, a local language such as
Ikalanga is viewed as a LFIC language by the majority of the teachers and learners.
The results have, therefore, shown that the current LiEP that promotes English only
creates negative perceptions about the use of Setswana and other languages in
education. It affects the learners’ self-esteem as they are unable to express themselves
well in English. It limits their educational and career opportunities as, by lacking a
proficiency in English, their performance in school is compromised. It also affects
negatively the learners’ pride in their national language as well as in their home
languages. They regard the former as having limited career opportunities, and the
latter as having no educational and career opportunities at all.
8.7.7 Qualitative data
The exclusion of Setswana and other local languages from the LiEP promotes a
negative perception about these languages. The use of CS (mainly from English to
Setswana) is a demonstration that English as the only language promoted by the LiEP,
is not completely effective in promoting teaching and learning. Evidence from the
classroom indicates that, although Setswana is not officially recognized as an
alternative LoLT at senior-secondary school level, its usefulness in education is
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evident through the use of CS. However, Setswana is not fully utilized. The same
observation was made by Letsebe (2002) when investigating the role of CS in junior
secondary schools. CS is viewed by the teachers as a strategy they use to communicate
with the learners because they do not understand English very well. Instead of
exploring the areas in which teaching could be more effective in Setswana than in
English, the teachers suppress it. For instance, in one of the classes observed, the
teacher explicitly told his class not to discuss in Setswana a class task that they had
been assigned. Therefore, a negative impression is created about the use of Setswana
in education. Instead of allowing the learners to brainstorm in the language they speak
well, and then present the task assigned in English, the teacher discouraged the learners
from using Setswana and thereby stifled their thinking and contribution, even though
research has shown that one’s cognitive skills are well developed in one’s MT (NCE 2,
1993: 111). Similarly, another teacher remarked that, because they teach Setswana,
they are looked down upon by the learners (cf. Chapter Seven, Extract 34).
Evidence from the classroom also showed that other local languages besides Setswana
were not used in class except when the learners were speaking informally among
themselves, even though the respondents (both teachers and learners) had indicated
that a local language like Ikalanga was used. In Extract 23 in the previous chapter, the
teacher explicitly ordered his learners not to use their local language in class. One of
the teachers used the local language sarcastically instead of exploiting its richness in
expressing which topic he and his class were discussing.
These two instances demonstrate that a negative impression had been created about the
use of other local languages in education. Because they are not used in any sphere
except as home languages, and as they are not included in the LiEP, they were viewed
as languages not fit to be learnt at school and to use in education.
8.8 CONCLUSION
In this chapter, the quantitative and qualitative data were used to answer the main
research questions. This included the discussion of the characteristics of CS and how
it differs from similar concepts such as CM and the two forms of borrowing, namely
borrowing proper and nonce borrowing. The extent of CS use in the classroom was
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also revealed, including the different functions it performed in the classroom.
Furthermore, it was proved that the phenomenon that occurs in classrooms in
Botswana could not rightly be referred to as CS. Rather, it is more of the use of
Setswana to overcome barriers to communication caused by the learners’ lack of
proficiency in English. The didactic consequences of the use of CS in the schools and
its educational benefits were also discussed -- both the positive and negative ones. The
prevalence of CS in the classroom, its effect on the pace of teaching and learning, and
curriculum coverage were revealed, as well as its effect on non-citizen learners who
may not be fluent in Setswana. The effect of CS use in the classroom on the LiEP of
Botswana was also revealed -- whether or not the LiEP was consistent with the
practical realities of the classroom situation -- and if there was any suggestion
emanating from the use of CS that could warrant the revision of the LiEP to ensure that
its inadequacies are addressed.
Finally, both the quantitative and qualitative data indicated that the current LiEP
promotes negative perceptions about Setswana and other local languages. The results
have shown that the teachers’ perceptions about the use of Setswana in education are
positive as they support its use in the teaching of other school subjects. However, the
learners’ perceptions were somehow negative, even though earlier they supported the
use of Setswana for teaching and learning. The learners are of the view that unfamiliar
Setswana concepts are better learnt in English than in Setswana. They also do not
support the use of Setswana as LoLT at secondary-school level. The latter view is not
unexpected, given that even at primary-school level, Setswana is not the LoLT. Their
view is that Setswana is suitable for use as LoLT at primary school but not at
secondary-school level. Therefore, among the learners, the current LiEP has created
negative perceptions about the use of Setswana in education.
Furthermore, both the teachers’ and the learners’ perceptions about the use of the
learners’ local languages in education were generally negative even though, to some
extent, they acknowledged their didactic effect, despite the teachers’ earlier support of
the use of local languages for teaching and learning. The implication of this scenario is
that there is a need to revise the LiEP to introduce these languages in the education
system at a very early stage. Should their benefits be appreciated at a very early stage,
they will be accepted in education in the subsequent years of schooling. These
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negative perceptions are evidence that language planning should be a “from bottom to
top” process as espoused by Reagan (2002) and Donna Kerr (1976, in Mesthrie, 2002:
420) as discussed earlier in Chapter Two, section four. However, the revision of the
LiEP cannot take place in isolation. The process should start with the revision of the
language policy of Botswana in general.
In the next chapter, a summary of the study, conclusions reached, and
recommendations made will be presented. It is also in the next chapter that the subproblems that were identified at the beginning of the study will be revisited to
determine whether or not the conclusions reached actually address them. The
limitations of the study as well as its implications for further research will also be
highlighted.
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CHAPTER NINE
Summary, Conclusions, Recommendations, and Limitations
9.1 INTRODUCTION
In this chapter, a summary of the key areas of the study is provided. Conclusions
drawn from the study are used to address the sub-problems (cf. Chapter One, Section
1.2.2) that initially were identified in relation to the main problem of the study, namely
the role of CS in an educational setting (Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60). The sub-problems
are dealt with chronologically, and at each stage it is stated whether or not each subproblem has been addressed adequately, and whether or not the data confirm or refute
each one of them. Consequently, the researcher would have dealt with the main
problem of the study. Based on the findings of the study, a list of recommendations is
then made. In conclusion, limitations of the study are articulated and implications for
further research are suggested.
9.2 SUMMARY
This study investigated the role of CS in teaching and learning in four senior secondary
schools in the north-eastern region of Botswana. CS in Botswana schools takes place
between English and Setswana, despite the promulgation of the Botswana Government
White Paper No. 2 of 1994 that English is the official LoLT from the second year of
primary-school education onwards. Although CS is a common phenomenon that
occurs in the utterances made by bilingual and multilingual speakers in formal and
informal social occasions, such as a public address by a government official or a
speech at a wedding, in educational settings it has not gained the same recognition.
The reason is that the didactic and educational functions of this phenomenon are not
clearly understood. It appears, for instance, that the use of CS in educational settings
in Botswana is not, theoretically, viewed as a case of CS. Instead, it is the use of
Setswana during lessons of subjects that are taught in ‘English’ to overcome the
problem of a lack of full comprehension of the lesson among the learners caused by
lack of a proficiency in English. Furthermore, CS in educational settings in Botswana
takes place in contravention of the LiEP.
385
It was against this background that this study was undertaken: To establish if the
phenomenon that occurs in Botswana classrooms really is CS as universally defined, or
if it signals an underlying problem that may be due to a lack of proficiency in English
on the part of the teachers, or the learners, or even both. In addition, the study sought
to investigate whether CS facilitates learning or impedes it; whether its use does not
suggest that the LoLT is inappropriate, and whether teaching and learning could not be
more effective if Setswana were to be used, that is, the language that both the teachers
and learners best speak and understand.
To investigate this phenomenon, the problem under investigation was analyzed in
terms of six sub-problems outlined in Chapter One. Several research questions were
formulated to address effectively these sub-problems (cf. Chapter 1, Section 1.3). An
extensive review of related literature was undertaken to inform this study and to
identify the theoretical framework within which the study should be undertaken (cf.
Chapter Two). The MLF, associated with Myers-Scotton (1993a) and The MLP
conceived by Kamwangamalu (1989a, 1990, in Kamwangamalu, 1999: 267) were
identified as the conceptual frameworks which informed the study.
The two models, although independently conceived, are virtually identical. The MLF
distinguishes between the ML and the EL. The ML is the main language that plays the
dominant role in CS while the EL is the guest language that takes on the morphological
and phonological structure of the ML in CS. Theoretically, English is supposed to be
the dominant language in the classroom that should determine CS but, in actual
practice, it is Setswana that is the ML, with English becoming the EL. Essentially, the
ML determines every aspect in CS (Kamwangamalu, 1989a, 1990, in Kamwangamalu,
1999). Similarly, the MLP states that in CS, only the ML determines whether
constituents from the EL are acceptable or not.
The MM of Myers-Scotton (1993a) also informed the present study. This model
claims that all linguistic choices, including that of CS, are indications of the social
negotiation of rights and obligations that exist between participants in a conversational
exchange (Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 75; Kamwangamalu, 2000: 61; Mandubu, 1999: 8).
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The MM allows CS to fulfil three main functions (Myers-Scotton, 1993a;
Kamwangamalu, 2000, Mandubu, 1999) namely:
ƒ
CS as an unmarked choice: This is when CS is the expected pattern of language
choice employed as a communicative strategy in a given linguistic exchange to
serve a particular communicative function, usually inclusive in nature. There
are two sub-types that fall under this category of CS – CS as a sequence of
unmarked choices or CS as an unmarked choice. The former occurs as a result
of a change in the situational factors during a conversational exchange In the
latter, situational factors hardly change during a conversational exchange
(Myers-Scotton, 1993a: 114).
ƒ
CS as a marked choice: This is when CS is the unexpected choice, to indicate
the social distance among the participants in a given conversational situation.
In such a case, CS is used to exclude deliberately some members present in a
conversational situation. Here the speaker switches to a language that he or she
knows that only a certain part of the audience will understand.
ƒ
CS as an exploratory choice: This is when the speaker initiates a conversation
in one language, and if the party being addressed does not understand, CS takes
place. The speaker switches to the most likely language that is intelligible to
both parties. This form of CS is used where there is some degree of uncertainty
about the choice of a mutual language.
In a classroom situation, it is CS as an unmarked choice (but not CS as a sequence of
unmarked choices) and CS as an exploratory choice that often are used. The former
refers to the use of Setswana during a lesson normally taught in ‘English’ for the
teacher to include all the learners whose English comprehension may not be that good.
The latter refers to a situation whereby the teacher initiates a conversation in English,
sensing that some of the learners may not be following the utterance that he / she CS to
Setswana. However, in the case of the classroom situation, the teacher is usually
certain about the choice of a mutual language. CS as a marked choice is therefore not
applicable in the present study.
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9.3 CONCLUSIONS
This section highlights the conclusions drawn from this study that are presented in two
main areas. First, conclusions will be drawn about the presence of CS in the
classroom, the teachers’ and learners’ attitudes towards its use, the functions of CS in
the classroom, and its didactic and educational effects. These conclusions will
demonstrate the effects of CS on teaching and learning. Second, conclusions will be
drawn about the implications of CS for the LiEP, and the effect of the present LiEP on
the use of Setswana and other local languages in teaching and learning.
The conclusions, drawn from the responses to the research questions and observations
that the researcher had made during lessons, are presented to deal with the following
sub-problems: The first sub-problem: Not enough is known about the didactic value
of CS in educational settings, was addressed by the responses to Research Questions 2
and 4 (i) and (ii).
9.3.1. The prevalence of CS in the classroom
The study has confirmed that CS occurs in the classrooms of the four senior secondary
schools in the North-East region of Botswana; and that it takes place mainly between
English and Setswana. Its use was more common during lessons of content subjects
than during lessons of language subjects. CS was used, irrespective of the subject
taught, the school setting (urban or peri-urban), the teachers’ gender, teaching
experience, age of the teachers, the teachers’ HL, and teachers’ fluency in English.
Similarly, CS occurred in the classroom, irrespective of the learners’ academic ability,
gender, the class level that was taught (Form / grade), the learners’ HL, and the
learners’ fluency in English. Both the teachers and learners CS even though the latter
were discouraged from CS by their teachers. Both had positive views about CS in
class; and they regarded CS as a strategy that facilitated communication in the
classroom, especially when the official language of education -- English -- was not
effective. Hence, it promoted teaching and learning.
CS is prevalent during the lessons of content subjects (History, Home Economics, and
Biology) and minimally occurs during lessons of language subjects -- English (L and
L) and Setswana). While teachers of English (L and L) restricted CS to the exchange
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of greetings at discourse-initiation stage and rarely CS during the formal part of the
lesson, teachers of content subjects CS through all the stages of lessons. The teachers
of English (L and L) were aware of their primary role: to promote a proficiency in
English Language among the learners, hence their minimal use of CS. The teachers of
content subjects were concerned more about ensuring that their learners understood the
content of their subjects than about language development among the learners, hence
the prevalence of CS during their lessons.
As it is the case with English (L and L) lessons, CS during Setswana lessons was less
frequent. However, it was the different forms of borrowing, namely nonce borrowing,
and borrowing proper that were mostly used. CM was hardly used.
9.3.2. The teachers’ attitude towards CS
Although the teachers CS, they often do not allow their learners to CS. This was more
evident during the lessons of the language subjects (English and Setswana) than during
the lessons of the content subjects. Furthermore, the teachers of Setswana were more
opposed to CS by their learners than the teachers of the other subjects, even though
they freely CS during their lessons. In addition to CS, the teachers of Setswana used
nonce borrowing and borrowing proper more than the teachers of the other subjects.
The borrowed words were mainly from English and sometimes, from Afrikaans, with a
few instances from other African languages such as Zulu and Northern Sotho.
9.3.3 The learners’ attitude towards CS
The learners had no objection to their teachers’ use of CS, even though they were
opposed more to CS during Setswana lessons than CS during the lessons taught in
‘English’. The learners shared the latter view with their Setswana teachers. This
suggests that, because Setswana is the language that both the teachers and the learners
spoke and understood well, both groups of respondents did not find it necessary to use
English during a Setswana lesson; hence their objection to CS to English during
Setswana lessons.
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9.3.4 CS to a local language
Although CS takes place between mainly English and Setswana, minimal CS to a local
language such as Ikalanga, also takes place. This was revealed by the quantitative data,
but not the qualitative data. While the majority of the teachers were opposed to CS to
a local language, the learners were not.
9.3.5 Functions of CS in the classroom
a. Content subjects
CS is used to perform a number of functions -- educational and social -- with the
former revealing the didactic value of CS in the classroom, as well as its setbacks. CS
during the lessons of content subjects was used primarily as a teaching strategy. These
teachers were concerned more about promoting the understanding of the lesson content
among the learners than about the learners’ proficiency in the official LoLT (English).
They used all forms of CS and, by extension, also allowed the learners to do the same.
CS was used by these teachers to serve a number of social functions. These are
summarized below.
ƒ
CS as an expressive function: when a teacher signals impatience with the class
for not responding to a question posed, to show annoyance, or to encourage the
learners to participate in the learning process;
ƒ
CS as a deferential strategy;
ƒ
CS to display linguistic versatility;
ƒ
CS to emphasize an aspect;
ƒ
CS as a strategy for neutrality;
ƒ
CS to perform a phatic function at discourse-initiation and -closure stages : to
exchange greetings and to dismiss the class at the end of the lesson;
ƒ
CS to perform an informative function: to communicate housekeeping matters
before the formal part of the lesson begins; and
ƒ
CS to amuse the learners.
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b. English (L and L)
Because of the minimal use of CS during the lessons of English (L and L), its functions
(both educational and symbolic), were minimal, too. CS as an educational function
was used to facilitate teaching and learning as is the case during the lessons of content
subjects. It was also used to clarify a point by repeating in Setswana part of the lesson
material already presented in English. CS was also used to perform the following
social functions:
ƒ
CS used to perform a psychological function: when used sarcastically; and
ƒ
CS used to mark group / ethnic identity.
c. Setswana lessons
CS during Setswana lessons was used more for social functions than for educational
purposes. To perform an educational function, CS was used to present part of the
lesson content. However, as previously stated, it was mainly borrowing rather than CS
that was used during the presentation of the lesson material.
The social functions of CS in Setswana lessons were similar to those outlined above in
addition to the following:
ƒ
CS used as a positive reinforcement;
ƒ
CS used to show the teacher’s level of education;
ƒ
CS used to demonstrate authority or annoyance;
ƒ
CS used owing to the nature of the topic being discussed;
ƒ
CS used to show linguistic versatility.
9.3.6 Didactic consequences of CS
The educational use of CS has positive and negative didactic consequences.
a. Positive didactic consequences
The positive functions of CS to Setswana are that it:
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ƒ
enhances lesson understanding among the learners;
ƒ
promotes learner participation in the learning process through group and class
discussions; and
ƒ
facilitates communication in the classroom.
During a lesson that requires the use of English, Setswana plays a supporting role.
Because Setswana is understood well by the majority of the learners, explaining part of
the subject content, or explaining some concepts that may not be readily understood if
they were to be explained in English, or repeating a question in Setswana, often
prompts the learners to respond. Similarly, English may play a supporting role, albeit
limited, during Setswana lessons. For instance, the teacher may borrow a word from
the guest language (English) to express an idea or concept that does not have an
equivalent in the host language (Setswana); or if it did have, was often in a form of a
long phrase.
b. Negative didactic consequences
CS has negative didactic consequences, as well. These are listed below:
ƒ
CS indirectly creates complacency among learners to strive to acquire fluency
in English. The learners were reluctant to participate when the teacher
addressed them in English, or they were called upon to contribute to the lesson,
even when they knew the answer to the teacher’s question. However, when the
teacher CS to Setswana, the learners responded in Setswana. The learners were
not keen to participate in English but waited for the right opportunity when the
teacher CS to Setswana, so that they, too, could respond in Setswana.
ƒ
While its use did not affect the teachers’ fluency in English, CS had a negative
effect on the development of a proficiency in English among the learners. It
contributed to a lack of confidence in speaking English among learners (even
though they self-rated their English proficiency highly).
ƒ
Similarly, acquisition of proper terminology of concepts in Setswana was
affected, as well, in that it was common for Setswana teachers to use borrowing
even where it was unnecessary to do so. As a result, learners also took a cue
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from their teachers to CM or use borrowing or CS even though many Setswana
teachers discouraged this practice.
ƒ
Further, while CS facilitates communication in the classroom, it results in the
distortion of English as the target language and, to some extent, Setswana as the
national language. The end result is that learners are not adequately skilled in
either language.
9.3.7. Educational effects of CS
CS also has positive and negative educational effects.
a. Positive effects
The main positive effects are that:
ƒ
CS to Setswana promotes teaching and learning because it promotes lesson
comprehension among the learners.
ƒ
It enables learners to participate in the learning process by allowing them to CS
to Setswana when responding to the teacher’s question, when asking a question,
and when discussing class tasks.
ƒ
CS promotes the expansion of vocabulary by allowing the creation of new
words by way of related processes such as borrowing. This is usually the case
where words refer to concepts considered ‘new’ in the borrowing language, or
words referring to concepts considered ‘foreign’ to the culture of the speakers
of the host language.
ƒ
Similarly, because the use of the standard variety of Setswana is mandatory
during Setswana lessons, sometimes the use of certain words or expressions
may not be readily understood. Therefore, by means of CS to English, or any
form of borrowing, the teacher is able to use familiar English words or
expressions to promote the understanding of the explanations of concepts
among learners.
ƒ
Further, CS promotes the use of Setswana in education (for instance, the use of
Setswana idiomatic expressions in CS) and points to the fact that Setswana and
other indigenous languages can be used effectively for educational purposes.
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Consequently, positive didactic consequences yield positive educational
benefits.
b. Negative effects
The main negative educational effects of CS are that:
ƒ
From a language development point of view, constant CS creates a permanent
habit of using Setswana in a lesson that is supposed to be taught in English, or
vice versa.
ƒ
The use of CS creates a complacency among the learners regarding the use of
English in class. The learners often choose to remain silent even if they know
the answer to the teacher’s question, knowing that their silence would be
interpreted to mean that they either did not understand the question or that they
were unable to express themselves. As soon as the teacher CS to Setswana, the
learners seized the opportunity to answer in Setswana.
ƒ
CS to Setswana is one of the contributory factors to a lack of fluency in the
target language (English) among learners. Yet learners need it as English is the
language of school-leaving examinations, of further studies and training and,
eventually, the language of work. In addition, extensive CS may be detrimental
to the acquisition of fluency in either English or Setswana as the learners may
become accustomed to the interchangeable use of at least two languages in one
speech event and eventually fail to sustain a conversation in one language when
required. Similarly, during Setswana lessons, the use of CS does not promote
fluency in Setswana, especially among learners for whom Setswana is not a
HL.
The second sub-problem: The occurrence of CS in a classroom situation suggests a
lack of proficiency in English as a Second Language among the learners and maybe
also among the teachers, and it is therefore problematic as a LoLT was addressed by
Research Questions One and Three.
The data revealed that the characteristics of CS as identified in Chapter 2 (cf. section
2.3.1) clearly indicate that the phenomenon that occurs in the classroom is CS; but the
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extent of its use is not consistent with one of the characteristics, namely, that the
speaker who CS should be fluent in both languages at his / her disposal.
CS by the teachers during the classes taught in ‘English’ served two purposes:
1. First, to demonstrate that the teacher is fluent in both English and Setswana,
and
2. second, to accommodate the learners’ lack of proficiency in English. When the
teachers used English only, they were generally fluent in English.
The use of CS by the learners signalled their lack of proficiency in English. Therefore,
CS was used mainly to facilitate communication in the classroom when the use of
English only could not do so effectively. The teachers mainly used CS in class not
because they had a problem with self-expression in English, but to enable the learners
to follow the lesson. CS used in this way was as a teaching strategy to benefit the
learners. The teachers were mindful that they were required to teach in English only.
However, faced with the ‘language barrier’ that impeded (teaching and) learning, they
resorted to CS to overcome this barrier. The data -- both quantitative and qualitative -confirmed that the teachers’ use of Setswana during the lessons taught in ‘English’ was
due to a lack of proficiency in English among the learners, not among the teachers.
CS to English during Setswana lessons was not that necessary as both the teachers and
learners spoke and understood Setswana well. The use of English by mainly teachers
was to mark their educational level and the ability to speak the prestigious language
(English) rather than to facilitate communication. However, in rare cases, the teacher
used it to name a concept foreign to Setswana.
Evidence from classroom observations indicates that the phenomenon that occurs
during the lessons of the language subjects (English - L and L and Setswana) may be
called CS, even though during Setswana lessons, there is more use of CM and
borrowing than CS. However, regarding the lessons of the non-language subjects
(Biology, History, and Home Economics), the phenomenon that occurs in these classes
cannot, in most cases, be regarded as CS. Instead, it was merely the simultaneous use
of the two languages as and when the need arose. The use of the two languages in this
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way was guided more by the need to bridge the communication gap caused by the lack
of proficiency in English among the learners than an unconscious use of the two
languages driven by fluency in them, which is often the case in many CS situations.
The study found that, while in many CS situations the main language used was easily
identified and a large part of the utterance was made in it, this was not the case during
the lessons of the content subjects. It was more use of Setswana and less use of
English. Consequently, it was not readily clear that the ‘legitimate’ LoLT was English.
In fact, one could mistake Setswana as being the LoLT in the teaching of these content
subjects.
The present study has demonstrated that in the case of the classroom, CS use signals
that the learners are not proficient in English. CS is used as a communication strategy
to ensure that the knowledge that the teacher imparts is received and understood by the
learners. Also, CS is used by the learners to participate in the learning process. This
confirms Kamwangamalu’s observation that, in education, CS carries a stigma
(Kamwangamalu, 2000: 60), and that it signals a lack of proficiency in the language
being used, in this case English, as used by the learners. Therefore, the phenomenon
that occurred in the Botswana classrooms during the lessons of the content subjects
was mere instruction in Setswana in place of English. It was an attempt by the teacher
to overcome the language problem that the learners experienced regarding selfexpression and comprehension of English.
The study also demonstrates that CS is initiated and encouraged unconsciously by the
teachers of the content subjects. When the learners, taking a cue from the teachers,
responded in Setswana, the teachers did not object to the learners’ CS. However, there
was some effort on the part of the English (L and L) teachers to discourage the learners
from CS to Setswana in class. Similarly, during Setswana lessons, the teachers
discouraged their learners from CS to English, but they themselves CS freely and also
engaged in borrowing.
Furthermore, the teachers whose HL is Setswana CS more to Setswana than the other
teachers. Similarly, the teachers whose HL is Ikalanga CS more to English during
Setswana lessons than the other teachers. Female teachers of the subjects taught in
‘English’ also CS more to Setswana than their male colleagues. Similarly, the male
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teachers of Setswana CS more to English than their female colleagues. Consequently,
during the lessons of the subjects taught in English, the female teachers whose HL is
Setswana CS more to Setswana than the other teachers. Also, during Setswana
lessons, the male teachers whose HL is Ikalanga, CS more to English than the other
teachers did.
The study suggests that the senior-secondary school learners are not proficient in oral
communication in English -- the language they not only use to write their senior
school-leaving examinations, but also the language they require for admission to
tertiary institutions, such as the University of Botswana. This implies that it is wrong
for the tertiary institutions to assume (as they seem to currently do) that their new
entrants are fully equipped with English language skills that would enable them to
pursue their studies effectively and efficiently in English (cf. The University of
Botswana’s Communication and Study Skills Unit Handbook, 2007).
The third sub-problem: CS from English to Setswana in a classroom situation may
be discriminatory against non-Setswana speakers, was addressed by Research
Question Four.
The quantitative data revealed that CS in the classroom does not take into account that
there are some learners who may not be proficient in Setswana. The learners -- both
speakers and non-speakers of Setswana -- viewed CS during the lessons of the subjects
taught in ‘English’, as discriminatory against these learners. This is because these
learners did not share the educational benefits that the Setswana-speaking learners
reaped from CS. While qualitative data also confirmed this view, the learners affected
did not raise any objection when Setswana was used during lesson delivery.
The fourth sub-problem: The use of CS in a teaching and learning situation seems to
be in conflict with the LiEP of Botswana, was addressed by Research Question 5 (i, ii,
and iii).
The data revealed that CS in the classroom is in contravention of the LiEP of Botswana
because the LiEP states that English is the official LoLT for the teaching of all the
subjects (apart from Setswana and French) from the second year of primary school
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onwards. The study showed that the violation was more apparent during the lessons of
the content subjects than during the lessons of the language subjects. The use of CS
during lessons of subjects taught in ‘English’ unintentionally demonstrated that it was
possible to teach these subjects in Setswana, even though the LiEP does not make
provision for so doing. The same can be said about the local language, where and
when it was used. While the teachers are of the opinion that CS helps in addressing an
educational problem, they are inadvertently creating another problem -- a languagedevelopment problem. CS means less practice in using English, which then results in a
lack of fluency in spoken English.
Notwithstanding the above, the use of Setswana in classrooms and, to a limited extent
other local languages, shows that these languages have a role to play in education.
The use of English during Setswana lessons also constitutes a contravention of the
LiEP of Botswana because the teaching and learning of Setswana is to be done
exclusively in Setswana. The quantitative data also revealed that CS to a local
language takes place in the classroom, though to a limited extent.
The study further showed that the LiEP is not consistent with the practical realities of
the classroom situation, because what takes place in most of the classrooms is different
from that which is stated in the LiEP. As previously mentioned, in the classroom, the
teachers CS to Setswana and allow the learners to also CS in recognition of the latter’s
lack of proficiency in English.
The reality of the classroom situation is that the prescription by the LiEP that English
be the LoLT needs revision because it impedes learning. The learners are not
confident enough to express themselves freely in English in the presence of their peers.
Further, they sometimes fail to comprehend fully what is being said by the teacher
unless he / she CS to Setswana and repeats the same information. The learners’
participation is seriously hampered by their inability to express themselves in English.
Therefore, the LiEP does what it was not intended to do: it acts as a barrier to
communication and to learning, instead of facilitating them.
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While the LiEP calls for the exclusive use of English as the LoLT in the teaching and
learning of all the subjects except Setswana, the reality in the classroom is that
Setswana is used in the teaching of almost all the subjects and, in particular, the
content subjects. CS in the classroom suggests that there is an underlying problem of a
lack of proficiency in the language of instruction, English, hence CS to Setswana is
used to rescue the situation. However, during Setswana lessons, the researcher
observed that CS by Setswana teachers may be habitual and intended to display their
linguistic versatility. The use of CM and different forms of borrowing, particularly
nonce borrowing and CS (though minimal) was unnecessary as all the learners in a
Setswana class had a good understanding of Setswana. In most cases, utterances made
in English or naming concepts in English could have been done in Setswana without
creating any misunderstanding.
The study has shown that the revision of the LiEP is necessary to ensure that the LoLT
promotes maximum delivery and acquisition of knowledge and skills development.
The respondents called for the official recognition of Setswana as an alternative LoLT,
as a language well spoken and well understood by the majority of the teachers and the
learners, the language in which maximum content delivery and acquisition of
knowledge and skills development can take place. In addition, teachers whose HL is
Ikalanga or ‘other’ languages also called for a revision of the LiEP to make provision
for the inclusion of other local languages in education. However, a revision of the
LiEP that allows for the teaching of all subjects to be done entirely in Setswana and not
in English so that English is only learnt as a second or foreign language, was not
supported by both the teachers and learners. The study has shown that the LiEP that
prescribes English as the only LoLT, is inadequate. Therefore, a partial revision of the
LiEP to include Setswana and other local languages, but not its complete overhaul, is
necessary. The result would be a partial introduction of MTBBE.
Both the teachers and learners concurred that although the learners hardly speak
without CS, more boys than girls CS to Setswana in class; and girls were more
proficient in both spoken and written English than boys. Therefore, CS by girls may
not necessarily be due to a difficulty in self-expression in English, but it was likely to
be the case with boys.
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The learners rated their teachers’ proficiency in English highly, but rated their
teachers’ writing and reading skills higher than their speaking skills. The learners’
evaluation of the teachers’ proficiency in English was almost consistent with the
teachers’ self-evaluation, even though a few learners did say that some teachers were
not fluent in spoken English, hence their use of CS in the classroom. All the teachers
regarded themselves to be proficient in English. The researcher shares the same view
as the teachers.
Regarding the teachers’ language use, both the male and the female teachers CS to
Setswana during lessons taught in ‘English’; and both groups expressed themselves
well in spoken English. However, the male teachers CS more than their female
counterparts, yet they also express themselves better in spoken English. Therefore, CS
use by the male teachers does not necessarily suggest a lack of proficiency in English.
In addition, during Setswana lessons, both the male and the female teachers CS in
class. However, female teachers do not CS as often as their male colleagues do.
Although CS occurs across all the subjects, it occurs the least during Setswana lessons,
and among the different subjects taught in English, it occurs the least during English (L
and L) lessons. The Biology teachers CS more than the teachers of other subjects
taught in English. With respect to the teachers’ proficiency in English and Setswana,
the History teachers were apparently the most proficient in English, and the language
teachers (the majority being Setswana teachers) were said to be the most proficient in
Setswana.
The teachers supported the view that Setswana, as a national language, should serve as
the LoLT at primary-school level (the majority of them are teachers whose HL is
Setswana), but the learners supported its use at all levels of education alongside
English because of the status of English as a national language. However, regarding
the possible use of the other local languages in education, the teachers and learners
held contrasting views. The former (teachers) supported their use in schools for
teaching and learning (the majority of them are teachers whose HL is Ikalanga and
teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’), but the latter (learners) disapproved.
Therefore, the majority of the teachers and learners supported the view that the LiEP
should be revised to include Setswana as the LoLT. In addition, the teachers supported
400
the revision of the LiEP to include other local languages in education, but the learners
did not agree. Both the teachers and learners are fully in support of the continued use
of English as the LoLT. They recognize its important role in their educational and
professional lives, both nationally and internationally.
An exclusive LiEP, such as the present one, gives an impression that Batswana can be
developed only through the English language. Furthemore, its lack of provision for the
teaching of other languages gives the false impression that Botswana is a monolingual
country, whilst the the opposite is true. There are at least 25 languages spoken in the
country, including English and Setswana (Webb & Kembo-Sure, 2000: 47; NyatiRamahobo, 2004; Molosiwa, 2006: 16; Batibo, 2006).
The fifth sub-problem: The current LiEP of Botswana promotes English at the
expense of Setswana and does not promote knowledge acquisition and skills
development, was addressed by Research Question Six.
The study has shown, mainly through quantitative data that owing to the status of
English in the LiEP, Setswana and the other local languages are perceived as languages
in which meaningful teaching and learning cannot take place as much as it would if
English were to be used. Generally, the teachers’ and the learners’ perceptions about
using Setswana in education were positive. The teachers were of the view that
Setswana should not be used during Setswana classes only, but should be used even in
the teaching of the other subjects. However, some teachers are still apprehensive about
using Setswana for teaching and learning outside Setswana lessons. Similarly, the
learners were generally positive about the use of Setswana for teaching and learning,
even though they were of the opinion that it was easier for them to learn new concepts
in English than in Setswana. They also did not support its use as the LoLT except
during Setswana classes.
Despite the teachers’ support for the inclusion of the local languages in the LiEP, on
the one hand the majority are still apprehensive about their effectiveness in teaching
and learning. For instance, they neither used these languages nor allowed the learners
to use them in class because the LiEP did not give this provision. They were also of
the view that their use negatively affected the development of English proficiency
401
among the learners. Despite these negative perceptions, some teachers were of the
view that these languages had a role to play in education as allowing the learners to use
them in class increased class participation.
On the other hand, the learners’ views about the use of the other local languages in
education were negative, as previously stated. They did not view their use or CS to
them as educationally beneficial. For instance, they did not think that it was easier for
them to learn in their own language than in English, and viewed their use as negatively
affecting their acquisition of proficiency in English. As a result, they objected to the
teachers’ use of a local language in class, and said it was unnecessary and of no
educational value.
While the teachers were of the view that Setswana has the potential to function
effectively in education, it was largely perceived as a HFIC language with limited
ability to function in a HFFC. However, concerning the local languages, both the
teachers and learners were in agreement that they are purely low-function languages,
even though a few teachers were of the view that they could function as high-function
languages.
The study has therefore established that the current LiEP that promotes only English
creates negative perceptions about the use of Setswana and the other local languages,
such as Ikalanga, in education. They are viewed as languages that are not fit for use in
education.
The sixth sub-problem: The use of CS in a classroom situation wastes instruction
time and does not promote knowledge acquisition and skills development, was
addressed through Research Question four (iii).
The study has shown that CS in the classroom did not waste instruction time or slow
down the pace of content delivery. There was no serious repetition of the lesson
content because it did not involve the presentation of the lesson material first in one
language, and then its repetition in the other language. Rather, the lesson presentation
involved a systematic alternating use of both English and Setswana as the lesson
progressed. Where there was repetition, it was minimal and inconsequential as it only
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served to clarify a point made earlier. Because CS facilitates communication,
knowledge acquisition took place, but confidence in speaking English did not improve.
Hence, language development (English) was compromised. CS to Setswana therefore
facilitated the acquisition of knowledge in the form of the subject content, but at the
expense of acquisition of a proficiency in English. Consequently, CS has no adverse
effect on the curriculum coverage.
In conclusion: the study has responded to a recommendation made by a number of
scholars, among them Tshinki (2002); Kamwangamalu (2000); and Webb (2002) who
called for further research to be conducted on CS in the classroom to establish whether
or not it occurs; whether the stigma it carries as indicating a lack of proficiency in
English as the LoLT is justified; and whether what occurs in the classroom in this
connection can be rightly referred to as CS. The findings of this study outlined above
have addressed these concerns.
9.4 RECOMMENDATIONS
This study has investigated the role of CS in teaching and learning at four senior
secondary schools situated in the North-East region of Botswana. The study has
established that CS is a common occurrence in the classroom and that its use is largely
due to a lack of proficiency in English among the learners. Therefore, the teachers use
it and allow its use to address a language deficiency problem that negatively affects
teaching and learning. The study has also established that the excessive use of CS in
the classroom inadvertently breeds a problem of language development. While CS
facilitates teaching and learning, it does not promote a proficiency in English among
the learners. Furthermore, its use is a violation of the LiEP of Botswana. Based on the
foregoing, the following recommendations are made, which are presented in two
sections. The first section comprises a list of recommendations on CS in the
classroom; and the second a list of recommendations on the LiEP.
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9.4.1 Recommendations on CS in the classroom
1. The teaching of English should be revisited to address the problem of a lack of
proficiency in English among the learners. This should be done if English is to
be an effective LoLT, not only at the level of senior secondary schools, but as
early as at primary-school level.
2. The re-introduction of Mother Tongue Education (MTE) at primary school
level should be considered consistent with international practice based on the
findings of research carried out in different parts of the world that Mother
Tongue plays a very important role in concept formulation at this level of
education.
3. The teachers should not only discourage the learners from CS, but should not
CS either, if they do not want the learners to CS.
4. Setswana teachers should desist from teaching Setswana in English.
Consequently, the simplification of Setswana concepts should be done by
explaining them in Setswana, but not in English. Their use of English during
Setswana lessons inadvertently creates a negative perception about Setswana,
namely that it is more difficult to learn in it than in English.
5. The extent of CS use in the lecture halls of the University of Botswana and its
effects should also be investigated. The same should be done in other tertiary
institutions in Botswana.
6. Recognizing that CS as a teaching strategy cannot be eliminated completely in
a bilingual set-up, and that it has an important educational role to play in the
classroom, it is important to identify those aspects or topics of the syllabus that
could be better presented in Setswana than in English. In this way its use will
be minimized and controlled.
7. The Communication and Study Skills Unit of the University of Botswana,
charged with the responsibility of improving university students’
communication skills in English, should undertake a needs analysis to establish
the extent of the inadequacy in English proficiency among the new entrants to
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address this problem. Further, needs analyses should also be done for each
level of study to design courses to specifically address the unique deficiencies
in a proficiency in English at each level.
8. Although Setswana is not the main focus of this study, the research has
indicated that the present Setswana syllabus does not effectively address learner
competence in Setswana. It assumes that Setswana is a first language for all the
learners studying it. However, the majority of the learners in the study spoke
Setswana as their second language. In this regard, Setswana should be taught
as a first language, and as a second language, as well. The former should be
offered to learners for whom Setswana is a HL; and the latter to learners for
whom Setswana is not HL. A leaf should be borrowed from the Cambridge
Overseas School Examination Council that offers English as a first language
and as a foreign language to its candidates. The learners whose HL is not
Setswana cannot be expected to appreciate the intricacies of this language in
the same way as those speakers for whom it is a first language would. For
instance, some idiomatic and proverbial expressions, innuendoes, and jokes
may be beyond the comprehension of learners who speak Setswana as a second
language.
9.4.2 Recommendations on the LiEP
1. The current LiEP or its implementation should be examined to establish if it
does not stifle learning.
2. Provision should be made in the LiEP for the use of CS in education in
recognition of its important instructional role. However, the use of CS should
be controlled lest it takes over as the defacto LoLT.
3. There should be strict adherence to the LiEP if there is sincerity about assisting
the learners to attain a proficiency in English. The education officers should
ensure that the LiEP is properly implemented. If this is not done, they should
devolve this responsibility to Management of the School in each case.
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4. The MoE should revise the LiEP to accommodate, where appropriate, the use
of Setswana in teaching and learning.
5. The revision of the LiEP should ensure that the use of Setswana in High
Function (Formal Contexts) is increased. It should not only serve as a national
language but also as a second official language. For instance, it should be used
more in education as an alternative LoLT. Furthermore, it should be used in
science and technology, in the courts and other legal prodeecings, government
administration and commerce. If Setswana, like English, is used in official
functions, it will truly have a meaningful function instead of being merely a
symbolic national language as is currently the case.
6. The revision of the LiEP should also take on board the more effective teaching
of English, so that an adequate proficiency in it is achieved if the learners are to
function effectively in an environment that requires the use of English.
7. The LiEP should be revised to make provision for the teaching of local
languages as per Recommendation No. 18 of the NCE 2 (1993). This
important national issue should not be left to the discretion of local
communities to request the teaching of these languages. The Ministry of
Education should play a leading role in this regard. This could be done by
enlisting the services of volunteer workers from within the communities
concerned. Their remuneration could be in the form of an honorarium or
exemption from paying the recently-introduced school fees for their children.
8. Regional education authorities or the Management Boards of schools should be
empowered to implement the recommendation on the teaching of local
languages without waiting for a formal request from the parents, as espoused
above. Furthermore, the views of the teachers whose HL is Ikalanga, and those
teachers whose HL falls under ‘Others’ should be heeded in academic matters
as these are the representatives of their communities.
9. International Mother Tongue Day which is celebrated in February every year
should be observed on the school calendar to instil, among young pupils, a
406
sense of pride in their respective mother tongues. Teaching young people to be
proud of speaking their HLs at school will go a long way in assisting them to
realize that these languages are as important as Setswana (the national
language) and English (the official language).
10. The revision of the LiEP should be done within the framework of the revision
of the country’s language policy. This process should include representatives
of all the key stakeholders. To this effect, a Commission, with clear Terms of
Reference (ToR), should specifically be set up and be tasked to undertake this
assignment. In this fashion, it will be ensured that the language policy is not
imposed on the people as they took part in its design and therefore have
ownership.
11. In planning the country’s language policy, a leaf should be borrowed from
Webb’s framework for strategic planning (2002: 39-40), reproduced as
Addendum A, which outlines constituent factors underlying the design and
implementation of a language planning policy in practice. These factors are
identified as: a vision; a mission; the problem identification; goals; information;
the implementation thereof; and the control and evaluation phases. In a
nutshell, the framework states the following:
ƒ
That first and foremost, policy development has to have a direct link
with the country’s vision, based on the country’s Constitution. In the
case of Botswana, the language policy should be in harmony with the
country’s Vision 2016, which is a long-term vision through which the
country set targets for itself to have achieved by the year 2016. Some of
the pillars of Vision 2016 state that Botswana shall be an educated and
informed nation; and that (Vision 2016, 2004: 9): “no citizen of the
future Botswana will be disadvantaged as a result of gender, age,
religion or creed, colour, national or ethnic origin, location, language
or political opinions”.
ƒ
It should also be in harmony with Government’s mission that deals with
the broad goals of the government, as espoused in Vision 2016 of
Botswana.
407
ƒ
Internal and external factors that may facilitate / impede the realization
of the country’s vision and mission regarding language planning and
policy should be identified and their impact determined.
ƒ
The language policy should be formulated as a legally-binding
document, with clear goals or objectives that are consonant with the
country’s vision and mission. Any possible obstacles that should need
to be addressed, should be identified and articulated clearly.
ƒ
The implementation strategies that will be followed to achieve the
policy objectives should be stated clearly. These should include
spelling out who will implement the policy, how, the time frame, and
the resources required. The strategy should include how Government
and the Ministry of Education should address anticipated problems.
ƒ
After implementation, control and evaluation mechanisms should be put
in place to establish the extent to which the language policy has fulfilled
the country’s vision and mission. In this way, feedback would be
provided to the authorities on the effectiveness of the language policy.
A LiEP formulated within the framework of the aforementioned language-planning
model is likely to be effective. As the language plan would have been designed in
consultation with key stakeholders, and have been enshrined in a legal document, its
implementation is likely to be taken seriously as the language policy (and the LiEP)
would not be construed as a policy imposed on the people. Because the people would
have taken part in its design, they would feel or be obliged to own and honour it. This
would be a progressive step from the current language policy that is not explicitly
stated but is only understood, inferred, and observed in practice (Nyati-Ramahobo,
2004). It is only mentioned in different government documents such as the
Constitution of Botswana; the two reports of the NCE of, respectively, 1977 and 1993;
the government’s national development plans, education’s curricular materials, and in
the media during discussions of language-related issues (Nyati-Ramahobo, 2004).
The study has shown that the current perceptions that Setswana and other local
languages should not be used as LoLT are a result of language planning that did not
follow the process as stated above. If these negative perceptions are allowed to
continue, Batswana will be a nation without a culture as observed by the first president
408
of Botswana, Sir Seretse Khama, when he said ‘A nation without culture is a nation
without soul”.
The LiEP should strike a balance between the retention of culture and the acquisition
of English, which is vital, for the people to also be global citizens. The aim of the
education system in general, and of the teaching of English, in particular, should not be
to produce a “half-baked” learner who is not knowledgeable and skilful and can hardly
express him / herself in English; rather, the learner should confidently express him /
herself in English as well as Setswana.
9.5 LIMITATIONS OF AND IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH
A number of limitations were encountered during the study that warrant further
research. Some were beyond the scope of the present study, and others were a result of
problems that were experienced during the data-collecting phase. These include the
following:
1. Although the study sought to investigate CS by both the teachers and learners,
the utterances made by the learners were limited. This is because the lessons
were generally teacher-centred. The teacher was the main speaker while the
learners were passive participants. There was minimal learner participation in
the development of the lesson even when the teacher tried to engage the class
by posing questions. Perhaps teaching that involved learner-centred activities
rather than the traditional lecturing method should be used more in an effort to
encourage active learner participation.
2. Because the study was limited to oral communication, it was not possible for
the researcher to establish the effect of CS on the learners’ written
communication, that is, whether the promotion of lesson understanding
translated into enhanced performance in their written work such as during tests
or examinations.
3. The researcher should have had access to the learners’ written work, so it was
not possible to confirm or refute the teachers’ views regarding the learners’ self
expression in written English.
409
4. The study established that learners’ participation in the lesson increased if the
teachers CS to Setswana. It also established that, at other times, CS did not
yield any positive results. This indicates that the learners’ participation in the
learning process is not solely determined by their ability or inability to use the
official language. There could be other underlying problems such as a learner’s
interest in a particular subject or topic, the learner’s ability, and how difficult or
easy he / she perceived a particular subject to be. This was, however, beyond
the scope of this study, and further research should possibly address it.
5. The study only focused on the senior secondary schools in the North-East
region, therefore its findings cannot be generalized. Similar studies should be
undertaken in senior secondary schools situated in other regions of the country
(and in primary schools) to see if these studies will produce similar results.
6. The study only focused on the three content subjects (History, Home
Economics, and Biology) apart from English and Setswana as language
subjects. Therefore, the findings may not necessarily apply to the other school
subjects. The study should be extended to include other school subjects to
establish the extent of CS use during their lessons and the consequences
thereof.
7. The study showed that girls were more proficient than boys in both spoken and
written English. As already stated, it was not easy for the researcher to confirm
these views as the study was limited to oral communication. In addition,
learner utterances were limited. Further research could establish whether or not
gender had any significant effect on learners’ acquisition of an adequate
proficiency in English.
8. Further research is necessary to establish whether there is any discrepancy in
the performance of learners whose home language is Setswana as opposed to
other learners whose HL is another local language. It is important to further
establish whether there is a need to design two kinds of syllabi -- one for firstlanguage speakers of Setswana, and the other for learners who speak Setswana
as a second language.
410
9. Further research is necessary to establish the effect of CS use on the
learners’academic performance.
9.6 CONCLUSION
The study has demonstrated that there is CS in the classrooms of Botswana senior
secondary schools, mainly from English to Setswana. The underlying factor for this
practice is mainly because learners have not acquired proficiency in English. In that
regard, CS is used as a strategy to facilitate communication where the LoLT is not
effective. A number of conclusions have been drawn and recommendations made
regarding CS in the classroom and the LiEP of Botswana. It is hoped that the
educators and policy makers will consider these conclusions and recommendations and
chart a way forward to address the lack of proficiency in English among the learners in
Botswana senior secondary schools. Consequently, learners who are confident enough
to express themselves in English will be produced, hence their chances of succeeding
in their studies and eventually in the vocational world will be increased.
411
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A LIST OF ADDENDA
Addendum A: Webb’s Framework for strategic planning
Addendum B: A map showing Secondary and Technical
Schools in Botswana
Addendum C: Transcribed lessons of the following subjects:
ƒ Transcription 1: Biology
ƒ Transcription 2: Home Economics
ƒ Transcription 3: History
ƒ Transcription 4: English Language
ƒ Transcription 5: Setswana
Addendum D: Teachers’ questionnaire
Addendum E: Learners’ questionnaire
1
ADDENDUM A: WEBB’S FRAMEWORK FOR
STRATEGIC PLANNING
2
3
ADDENDUM B: A MAP SHOWING SECONDARY AND
TECHNICAL SCHOOLS IN BOTSWANA
4
5
ADDENDUM C: TRANSCRIBED LESSONS OF THE
FOLLOWING SUBJECTS:
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
ƒ
Transcription 1: Biology
Transcription 2: Home Economics
Transcription 3: History
Transcription 4: English Language
Transcription 5: Setswana
6
Transcription 1: Biology lesson
The lesson was on “Filtration”. The lesson began with greetings initiated by the
teacher in Setswana and the learners responded in Setswana. She then signalled in
Setswana that the lesson was about to begin and switched to Setswana. The class
listened attentively while the teacher presented the lesson and occasionally they copied
down in their notebooks the summary notes the teacher wrote on the board. The
teacher ‘s lesson presentation was characterized by constant ‘switches’ between
English and Setswana; including posing the questions to the learners. The learners
mainly signalled that they were following the lesson by responding in the affirmative
in a chorus in Setswana ‘ee mma’ or in English ‘yes’. The teacher was fluent in
English but code-switched to Setswana throughout the lesson. Below is the actual
transcription of the lesson:
T: Dumelang.
C: Ee mma.
T: A re tswelelelng bagaetsho. … We were discussing about excretion, specifically in
relation to the nyphron. Gore how does the nyphron perform or what is the function of
the nyphron in relation to ( ) formation. And remember I told you that it is very
important for you to know the structure of the nyphron. Re a utwana?
C: ee mma.
T: It is important for you to know the structure of the nyphron; and again it is
important for you to be able to know the functions of those general parts of the
nyphron; not forgetting the reasons why it is necessary for the pressure to be high
within the kidney. Gakere?
C: (some) ee.
T: Yes, ke tlhalositse hela gore when the blood gets into the kidney, and especially
around the gonerius, e e leng gore that is a group of capillaries, we expect the pressure
to be a bit high; specifically for the filtration of the liquid parts. Gakere?
C: (silent)
T: Ne ka le bolelela sekai sa gore o gakologelwe gore le wena hela ha o ka lebelela
the…the hosepipe ka ha e ntseng ka teng, gore o kgone gore metsi a tswele ko nte a
le mantsi you need to open the tap …(pause)
C: [IN CHORUS] Thatanyana.
T: Thatanyana. Gakere?
C: ee.
T: To increase the pressure within the hosepipe … so that is exactly what is happening
around the ( ) we expect the pressure to be a bit high so that the filtration can occur.
Then …ke rile there are two major processes to occur in the formation of the urine;
one, ke yone the ultra-filtration e e diragalang, e e diragalang around the gonerilus;
7
go bo go nna le re-absorption e e leng gore I said it occurs mainly along the tubule.
Gakere? I said it mainly occurs along the tubule. So those are the two major processes
tse e leng gore they occur for the urine formation. And then we went on and described
or… eh… discussed those substances that need to be reabsorbed back into the blood
system. We mentioned that the globule molecules tse e leng gore di dule le the
filtrates, remember ha re expecta go bona a filtrate to the tissue fluid. Gakere?
C: Ee.
T: Ee! Ke rile that is equivalent or similar to the tissues fluid. Now ke yone e e leng
gore re a go e bitsa re re ke the filtrate. Now, that filtrate is the one that is going to be
moving along the tubule; gakere? Ke bo ke re … now along that tubule, we expect the
glucose to be reabsorbed back into the blood stream. We expect amino acids to be
reabsorbed back into the blood stream. Such that, at the end of the day … at the end of
the day … we expect the urine of a healthy person … the urine of a healthy person …
we expect to find what? … The excess water, gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ee.
T: Le eng?
C: Urea.
T: Urea, aha!
C: Salt.
T: And the excess salt. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: So those are…those are the only things we expect to find in the urine of a healthy
person. So we don’t expect to find any glucose molecules in the urine of a healthy
person. We don’t expect to find any amino acids or proteins in the urine of a healthy
person. Ke a utwala?
C: (some) Ee.
T: Go raya gore … the minute we find the glucose or the amino acids in the urine, go
raya gore motho yoo is no longer healthy. Gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee.
T: One way or the other, something is not functioning well. So that’s one thing you
need to know. But as for the urea, excess water, and the salt, ke tsone tse e leng gore
they form what is referred to as urine. Go bo go raya gore … other things that I said
you should be able to remember is that, when there is less water in the system …
system re raya eng? … The circulatory system; gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ee mma.
8
T: when there is less water in the circulatory system, which hormone is going to be
released? Ee mma? [SIGNALLING AT A FEMALE LEARNER TO ANSWER]
L1: The ADH hormone
T: The Anti Dueretic Hormone. Gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee.
T: Re thalositse gore that ADH is the only … and only … going to be released in
large amounts when there is less amount of water in the body. The ADH is going to be
released so that it enhances re-absorption of water back into the blood stream. Ka
goreng? Ka gore ke le boleletse gore … if the body runs short of water, what is going
to happen to the cells? … If the body runs short of water, what is going to happen to
the cells? … Ee mma? [ADDRESSING A FEMALE LEARNER]
L2: They will shrink.
T: They will shrink. Ka goreng? Because now the tissue fluid e e leng gore is going to
be found surrounding the cells e a go nna concentrated. Gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] ee mma.
T: Yes, go raya gore the concentrated solution is going to be formed, which is found
to be surrounding the cells. O kgona gore these cells are going to lose most of the
water. Ke a utwala?
C: [IN CHORUS] ee mma.
T: So, that is why re be re thalosa gore now in order for the body not to reach this
stage whereby the cells are going to lose a lot of water (pause) that is why this
hormone … the ADH…now gets released so that there will always be a balance of
water between the cells and the surrounding fluid. A le siame?
C: [IN CHOURUS] ee.
T: Now when there is excess water in the body, or somebody has taken a lot of liquid
in the body, we are saying this hormone is suppressed or is no longer released; because
there is a need for that water to be moved out through the kidneys. So that’s why le taa
hithela ha gongwe gotwe one of the functions tsa kidneys ke osmo-regulation. Ke
dumela gore batho ba tshwanetse ba setse ba kopanye le lefoko la mohuta o.
Gakere?
C: (few) Ee.
T: Ee! That osmo-regulation ga se sepe hela, its all about the balancing of water in the
body. Ke a utwala?
C: (some) Ee.
T: So that balancing is determined by the antideuretic hormone. So re siame?
9
C: [SILENCE]
T: So, ke ne ke boela ko morago hela go sekaenyana; gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: Ee, jaanong re be re re … now once urine has been formed, we expect that urine to
be removed from the…the body. So… but there are certain situations tse e leng gore
we would expect or we would find that the urine might have some glucose molecules
in it. Remember I said … once we find the glucose molecules inside the urine, which is
a sign ya gore the person is not healthy. Gakere?
C: Yes.
T: So, bo go raya gore … now, when you find the glucose molecules inside the water,
excuse me, that is a sign ya gore somebody has got what we refer to as kidney failure
… kana the kidney problem. So, whenever you find the glucose molecules inside the
blood … I mean inside the urine of a person, now that is a time e re reng motho o nale
what we refer to as kidney failure. Or even some proteins … even some proteins … if
you find some proteins inside the urine, re dumela gore motho yoo o nale eh…a
kidney failure. Ke a utwala? Now how do you think a kidney failure can be solved? If
somebody have got a kidney failure…usually, how is that problem solved? Ee mma?
[ADDRESSING A FEMALE LEARNER]
L3: Kidney transplant.
T: One, she’s saying somebody can perform what we refer to as kidney transplant.
Mmh! Ee rra? [ADDRESSING A MALE LEARNER]
L4: A person can be put on a dialysis machine.
T: A person can be put on a dialysis machine … so we can also use what is also
referred to as a dialysis machine. Anything else? Mme [ADDRESSING A FEMALE
LEARNER]
L5: A person can remain with one kidney.
T: Ee, so what she’s implying is that if there is one e e senyegileng, you can remove
that one and remain with one. Gakere?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Ee o kgona go tshela ka kidney enngwe hela. So, in this case go raya gore ha
[POINTING AT THE WRITING ON THE CHALKBOARD] re raya gore tsothe di
senyegile, gakere?
C: Ee.
T: Mmh! …What else? How about if it is a minor failure? …something se se minor,
what do you think could be done? Ee rra [TO A MALE LEARNER]
L6: (
) they will do an operation.
10
T: Ya eng?
L6: O di khenekha.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: O di khenekha? Go reng?
L6: (
) [answers in Setswana]
T: Ke gore gatwe le dirang lebati la lona batho! [COMMENTING ON NOISE
MADE BY SWINGING DOOR]
C: (
) (some)
T: Ee, a ko o le tshegetse. Ee, a re o ka dirwa operation. Jaanong kene ke bata go
itse operation ya teng … o khenekha ha kae?
L6: (
) [EXPLAINS IN SETSWANA]
T: Ga tweng?
L6: (
)further explains in Setswana
T: Ee!
L6: ( ) …go phechiwa.
T: Go phechiwa ha kae?
L6: Ha go ta a bo … ha gongwe enale ntho.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ehe! [SURPRISED AT THE EXPLANATION GIVEN BY LEARNER 6] Ee…
kana ke gore ha o akanya bo go phechiwa jaana … ha o akanya le go phechiwa
jaana, you should put little ( ) ka gore re rile those are the ones found in thousands
… numbers to form a kidney. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: So, ha o akanya le go phechiwa jaana ke gore o re bolelela gore … lymphoma
… ha go tsileng go phechiwa teng ( ). Le gone you’re talking about a cell e e leng
gore is …is…something that cannot ( ) a little high. So, le gone o phecha selo se o
sa se bonyeng ka matho jang?
L7: (
)
T: Waii…nnyaya, kana jaanong (name) a re riana … ka hormone … which
hormone do you think you’re going to be injected ka yone? Ka haele gore e ya go
nna hormone, e tshwanetse e ye go nna ADH. Go raya gore golo gongwe there is a
failure in the reabsorption; ka gore … remember what I said ka ADH? Ke rile it
11
increases the permeability of a tubule because that tubule is selective permeable.
Gakere? So, gongwe the permeability ya the tubule can fail, yes, go ka diragala gore
e seka ya nna effective thata. So it’s all about increasing the efficiency. Or motho yo
mongwe ene, wena as an individual … you’re releasing less of that hormone. Gakere?
C: Ee.
T: So, if you’re releasing less of that hormone, that’s the only time e e leng gore you
can be injected with that hormone. Gakere? Mo gongwe ke eng kana mo go obvious?
… Ke raya gore mo eleng gore gongwe ha o nale mathatanyana a bo kidney jaana,
gongwe bo kidney stones jaana? Ee (name)?
L8: By keeping to a strict diet.
T: By keeping to a strict diet. That is for a minor thing. Ha o nale minor kidney
failure, you can correct that by keeping to a strict diet. So, the strict diet e re ka buang
ka yone ke gore motho wa teng o taa…o ka advisiwa gore a seka a ja eng se le se
ntsi, kana a je eng mo go ntsi? What would be the other? Because that is the one e re
reng ‘stick to the diet’. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: So, advice e ka nna ya go reng to that individual? Gore a seka a ja eng mo go ntsi
kana a je eng mo go ntsi? Ee mma (to a female learner)
L9: They shouldn’t eat a lot of salt.
T: They shouldn’t eat a lot of salt.
L10: Eeh! a a a! mmeke botse sengwenyana gape gone hoo! Do you think the salt
will cause a lot of excretion?
C: [IN CHORUS] Salt?
T: Ee ga gona … ga gona any other way e e leng gore we excrete salt beside through
urine … the urine?
C: Through sweat.
T: Through the sweat, heh! Ke raya gore le haele gore re ja letswai …tota re ja
letswai le le sa … ee…tsenyeng bana ba pheho thata. Unless o nale bo high blood
jaana; le bo ne malatsinyana a ba setse ba diretswe matswai a bone kana. Gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ee.
T: Ga le itse? Le teng la high blood! Ee, ka re jaanong motho yoo o ka advisiwa
gore a je eng thata, a seka a ja eng thata? Keyone potso yame.
T: (name)
L11: (
)
12
T: Why?
L11: It increases…. (
)
T: It increases?
L11: It increases the bulk of the faeces.,
T: Ee! It increases the bulk of the faeces and it increases reabsorption of water inside
the colon. Go raya gore go nna metsinyana kwa.
C: [LAUGHTER AND MUMBLES]
T: Go raya gore instead of getting … go raya gore in other words, water can be
diverted … instead of the person urinating frequently, the person can remove faeces
frequently.
C: [LAUGHTER, SOME SHOWING SURPRISE]
T: Nnyaya, mme ke botse potso ele nngwe hela hela. Ha motho a tsenywe ke mala
go a diragala gore a urineite kgapetsa?
C: No!
T: A re nne realistic batho, le ha o ka gakologelwa nako nngwe o tsenywe ke mala
hela, ga go ke go diragala gore o nne le emergency? Kana e nna ka ha kgapetsa
kgapetsa. Gakere?
C: Ee mma!
T: Ee! A re nneng realistic ka ra re advice …advice ya motho yoo … re ka advisa
jang that individual? (name)?
L12: I think the person must eat food containing iron.
T: Ee! Re ne re reng golo ha? Advice on strict diet, gakere?
C: (some) Ee! Strict diet.
T: Why iron (name)? Kana nna ke rile o ne o mpha lebaka la gore ke eng o rialo!
Why why why take in a lot of iron? … E go thusa jang?
L12: Ke raya ka gore madi a bo a nna metsi.
T: Le a be le bata dustara, gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] No! (some); nnyaa (others)
T: Ee! Nkarabeng! … Ke tsaya dustara ke lekobonya menwananyana yone e …
(name)
13
L13: By avoiding taking in a lot of proteins.
T: By avoiding taking in a lot of proteins. Selo sa ntha hela se le tshwanetseng gore
le se ipotse ke gore what are we removing? What is it that the kidney is removing se
se rileng? It is going to be toxic to the body cells. …is the removal of urea, gakere?
C: (some) Ee!
T: Potso e o ipotsang ke gore … where does urea come from? It comes from what?
Proteins! Ke a utwala?
C: Ee!
T: Ee! It comes from proteins. When you take proteins, we encourage formation of
urea. So, when we minimize the intake of proteins, you’re minimizing the formation of
urea in the body ... Ke a utwala?
C: Ee!
T: Ee! So batho ba ( ) will always be advised not to take in a lot of proteins, but to
take in a lot of roughage jaaka a ne a bua … Ka goreng? Ka gore mpa e ta a tala …
e tala ee…what can be removed very fast but go sa forme a lot of toxic material eleng
the urea; ke a utwala?
C: Ee.
T: Ee! So that’s the question that you should know gore the person will always be
advised to take in less protein. Why? Because the urea comes from the protein. So, e
tshwanetse e nne less protein intake. Re setse re thalositse gore the urea is formed
from proteins, how by the way? …How is the urea formed from proteins? …How is
urea formed from proteins? A a ! … ke tshwere dustara ke le kgonye
menwananyana yone eo! Ee rra? [ADDRESSING A MALE LEARNER]
L13: Through the process of dealienation.
T: He says through dealienation … he says through dealienation. That is where the
urea is going to be formed. Gakere?
C: (some) Yes
T: Yes! Re thalositse hoo hela gore proteins are going to be dealienated and during
that dealienation … e re rileng that is the removal of the nitrogenal group from
proteins. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee….
T: That nitrogenal group is the one that is going to be converted into urea … that
nitrogenal group is the one that is going to be converted into urea. Process ya teng
jaanong ke e heng ha re converta ha kana? … Detoxification! Gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
14
T: So, ke tsone the two processes tse e leng gore they meet for the formation of urea.
That’s why I always say please lets carry along the concepts of the various topics tse
re di dirileng. Le seka la lebala … because you’ll always need them along the way.
Gakere?
C: (some) Ee…
T: Ehe! Jaanong re be re re those are the three ways tse re setseng re bona gore
motho yo o nang le kidney failure could be assisted ka tsone. Gakere? … So, now …
ah! Of ( ) this one [POINTING AT THE WRITE-UP ON THE
CHALKBOARD] ke setse ke thalositse gore when somebody have got a minor
kidney failure, gakere? … E e leng gore it can be corrected through the diet. So, when
a person have got a permanent kidney failure, tse pedi tse ke tsone tse e leng gore
they’re taken care of [POINTING ON THE CHALKBOARD] the kidney transplant
and the dialysis machine. But you find that in most cases … in most cases … the
…eh…the kidney transplant is rarely done, ka go reng? … Ee? (name)
L14: It is usually difficult to find a suitable donor.
T: Yes, because it is usually difficult to find a suitable donor. Kana go raya gore ha
ele gore ijo! … Mo lesikeng la lona … eh…ga gona ope yo o prepared go tshela ka
philo enngwe hela, a mphile enngwe, go raya gore go taa nna le mathata. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee…
T: Ehe! Le nna ke toga ke ntsha philonyana yame kante ga e a tsoga sente enngwe
… so there is the risk e e santseng batho ba e tshaba … mme legale mo Botswana
malatsinyana a, gatwe we should preach and encourage you gore le ithute go
doneita. And e be e bewa e beelwa wa lesika la gago.
C: [MUMBLE WITH MIXED REACTION]
L15: Jaanong e o setseng ka yone ha e feila o dira jang? Ke raya gore ha o sena go
doneita e be ya gago e lwala wena o dira jang?
T: Strict diet.
L15: Ke raya gore o le mo go yone ‘strict diet’ mme e be e feila, o dira jang?
T: O hile! Modimo ware ‘go sego ba ba hileng…’
C: Aahh! [IN EXCLAMATION THEN LAUGHTER]
T: Bele e ledile? [ASKING IF THE BELL THAT SIGNALS THE END OF THE
LESSON HAS RUNG)
C: (in chorus) Ee mma!
T: Go siame.
Class rises and leaves the classroom, immediately switching over to Setswana and
talking among themselves.
15
TRANSCRIPTION 2
Lesson: Home Economics: Fashion and Fabric
The teacher walked into the room and greeted the class in Setswana and then asked
them still in Setswana to quickly tidy up the classroom and to open the windows before
the lesson began. After the class settled down, she gave them lesson handouts and
continued to address them in Setswana. She then switched over to English when the
formal part of the lesson began. The lesson was on “Design Elements and Principles”.
The opening part of the lesson was unclear on the tape but the teacher spoke in
English. The lesson was teacher centred; the teacher appeared active and seemed to
have no problem with self-expression in English. The teacher read from the handout
and explained at intervals while the learners listened with occasional ‘ee, mma’ to
indicate that they are following the lesson.
T: ( ) So, in design elements … eh… because you know we are also Fashion and
Fabric students, we are going to be designing certain articles. Eh…eh…or … you can
design kana ke table-cloth or what; it all depends on what you want to design. But …
eh…the design elements eh…for you to start designing, you have to know these design
elements … because as you design, you sit down … you use your what? You use
your…you use your hands. Gakere? You cannot just design from the air, you have to
sit down and use your hand to draw…or design whatever you … you want to design.
So, when you look at the handout … the handout that we have, gakere everyone has a
handout; gakere?
C: (in chorus) Yes.
T: So, we are going to use this handout for our discussion, mm? ( ). So, the first
statement ya re “design is a selection and arrangement of lines … state of both same
colour and shape.” So when you design, it means you have to think of the lines.
Gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
T: Think of the lines, gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
T: The lines can either be straight, they can either be… be curves. Gakere?
C: (some) Yes.
T: You have straight lines which you will…(
) in what?
C: (silence)
T: Straight lines, ee… parallel, e bidiwa go tweng? … vertical. Then you can have
horizontal lines, you can have … slanted curves, and the like. So we have a variety of
lines which we use in …in designing. Gakere? And also we have … the shapes … we
have shapes; any other shape?
16
C: (silence)
T: We have bo square, triangle. And also as you design you have to consider the
colour … you also consider the colour. If you ( ) gore if I’m going to make this …
I’m going to design this, I will use the curved lines; gakere? If I use the curved lines,
which colour will I apply so that at the end of it I would have achieved what I … what
I want. Gakere? Because you want to create something, eh… you want to make
something, so for you to do that, you think first of the lines, and then the shape. You
say, “how do I like this to look like? Do I like this to look like a square, or do I make
what?” You can even design a curve. ( ) goes ( ), gakere? And then now you
think of the colour. If I put this colour, what effect will this colour have on…on what I
want to design? Ke a utlwala sentle gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
T: [READS FROM HANDOUT THEN EXPLAINS WHAT SHE HAS BEEN
READING]
T: Remember you have created ( ) with different colours; gakere? Remember that
some of the fabrics are what? … They are light, some they are heavy, some they are …
medium to heavy. Gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
T: So all these fabrics, they have different effects. If you use a heavy fabric on a certain
design, it will have a…it will have a certain effect. For instance, if you decide to use …
eh…to use eh… I decide to make a skirt; I decide to make a skirt; and that skirt
…maybe I’m making this skirt for a very …for a very big person like (name), eh… and
then I decide to use a very heavy fabric; heh! What is going to happen? She is going to
look much bigger! because I have used a… a heavy fabric; ee?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
T: So, it is because of that heavy fabric. So let’s look at the lines … lets look at the
lines. [READS FROM HANDOUT THEN EXPLAINS]
T: So, we always … eh…gakere if I tell you gore , okay these long and vertical lines
… heh… if you just look at these [POINTING AT THE DESIGN ON THE
CHALKBOARD] gakere these…these straight lines … the vertical lines … if you use
the vertical lines, what is going to happen?
C: (silence)
T: One would look slimmer. Amh… but wena you wouldn’t believe it until you see on
the garment. Start to make a dress, and then the dress … you use a fabric e e leng gore
… the fabric has vertical lines. Gakere?
C: (silence)
T: So, if the vertical ( ) you use the vertical lines on this garment … on … eh… a
garment which is made of eh… vertical lines. Then whoever is going to wear this
17
dress, because it makes you … akere go raya gore you look from the top going down;
gakere?
C: Ee.
T: So, gakere go raya gore the illusion, ha o leba jaana, [DEMONSTRATES WITH
HEAD AND HANDS] what happens? O leba o ya kae? … ko tlase gakere? It makes
you think that the person is tall. Gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: Because these are parallel vertical lines; gakere?
C: Ee
T: So… “but all lines are either straight or [READS FROM HANDOUT]
T: They can eh… they can eh… they can camaflouge. By camaflouge we mean gore
… okay … if I am eh… I am what? I’m big as I am … at least straight lines will make
me appear … mmh? [SOLICITING RESPONSE FROM THE CLASS]
C: (silence)
T: Will make me appear, mmh?
C: (silence)
T: They will make me appear taller and slimmer! Mmh! They have disguised my
figure. Gakere?
C: Ee mma.
T: So that I don’t look as …as big as I ammm…..! You all know gore Mma (name) is
big … and then what person? Eh… ha ke apere jaana, I will have disguised my
figure. That’s why you would think a person is tall, because o leba ko godimo o leba
ko tlase. So, the vertical lines, they encourage up and down movement. The vertical
lines, they encourage up and down; you don’t look like that [DEMONSTRATES]
crosswise like that; instead you look up and down. Ee! That is why you say that the
person is tall and slim, you look up and down [DEMONSTRATES]. Ee! And then you
create an illusion of height. Vertical lines therefore create an … an accentuate height
… the vertical lines. So when you look at page ( ) … next page…[READS FROM
HANDOUT]
T: As I have already mentioned; and short or plum girls should keep this in mind and
apply it; mmh! Those people who are short and fat; ee! Ba ba kima ba ba khutshwane
… for them to disguise their figure, they must use these…the vertical … the vertical
lines; so that they appear a little bit taller and a little bit slimmer; eh?
C: (silence)
T: Ee! (then reads from handout, then explains)
18
T: So, if you use a v-neck line, a v-neck line meets here [DEMONSTRATES WITH
HER HANDS]; so if I am somebody with a very short neck; heh! With a short neck,
heh! My neck is short…; heh! So, then it means if I wear something like this
[DEMONSTRATES WITH HER HANDS] a curved line neck like that or a
a…neckline like that [DEMONSTRATES WITH HER HANDS] what is going to
happen?
C: (silence)
T: My neck is going to appear even very short, and you’ll …be like this [POSTURES
USING HER NECK] wa bona! Ee! But if you wear something se e leng gore is what?
… is v- like that [DEMONSTRATES] then your neck will appear … longer. Gakere o
bona gore this is where these lines meet … o a bona? My neck will look longer. Ee!
Ke a utlwala?
C: Ee.
T: V-lines have an impact; ee. It’s that ga re apara jaana…the problem is that
…eh…we just dress for the sake …eh…gatweng? Mm! eh…eh… re aitse gore ke
fashion gakere?
C: (silence)
T: Ee! Because this is in fashion, so it means I can dress like that. But if you know
yourself … it’s very important that you know yourself, so that when you choose, you
choose your wardrobe; then you know as much as possible that certain clothes … you
want to disguise…to disguise the bad features tsa mmele wa gago. Gakere?
C; (some) Ee
T: And then expose those that are good, Ee! Ke a utlwala sentle?
C: (in chorus) Ee
T: Ee! Let’s not … let’s not just dress for the sake of it; let’s dress knowing that gore
rona we are fashion and design students. Re a itse jaaka go aparwa. ( ) And then
we get to the horizontal lines. The horizontal lines … they create a side to side
movement. [DEMONSTRATES WITH HER HEAD AND EYES] So, the horizontal (
) gakere ( ) so it means gore ( ) gakere [STILL DEMONSTRATING SIDE
TO SIDE MOVEMENT OF EYES] go raya gore matlho a gago a tsamaya jaana
[IMITATES] side by side. And then go raya gore tsone they create what?
C: (silence)
T: One would look what?
C: (mumbles)
T: Will look a bit big. Go reela gore you will look a bit fat, and also the height will be
short. Gakere?
19
C: Ee.
T: So this can be used by what? … So these can be used by people ba eleng gore they
are thin and tall! Ee! Thin and tall. Horizontal lines emphasize on … or create an
illusion of big ….[READS FROM HANDOUT]
T: So, if for instance, ha ele gore … okay … I have decided I’m making a skirt;
gakere; vertical lines and horizontal lines … and then if you use these horizontal lines
… maybe I’m somebody yo eleng gore I have big backside or big hips; eh! And then I
decide to use horizontal lines, what is going to happen? Eh?
C: (silence)
T: Go raya gore the…the hips are going to look much bigger. Gakere?
C: (in chorus) Ee
T: So, then it means what you could do there, you could combine these [POINTS AT
THE LINES DRAWN ON CHALKBOARD] wa bona? You could combine vertical
lines and horizontal lines so that the vertical lines ( ); wa bona? Let’s go to the next
page re lebelele slanted lines … slanted lines. [READS FROM HANDOUT, THEN
EXPLAINS]
T: So, these ones … the slanted lines gakere go raya gore le tsone you will be moving
up and down along those lines that [DEMONSTRATES WITH HER HEAD AND
EYES], gakere?
C: Ee.
T: So they combine both the vertical and the horizontal lines. So, they …they can
therefore, either increase or decrease an illusion of height or slimness. Ee; depending
on the degree of slant. So, let’s look at the first picture there … the first picture
[REFERS TO PICTURE IN THE HANDOUT]. Akere o bona gore e a slanta,
gakere? …but it doesn’t slant much; so this person on the…on the first picture appears
… appears what? Eh?
C: (silence)
T: She appears taller and thinner; eh?
C: Ee
T: Thinner compared to the one yo o mo the second eh…the second eh…the second
picture there. Ha o mo lebile the slant is much flattered; that, gakere?
C: Ee mma.
T: And then this person … the picture … it appears to be very shorter and a bit … wa
bona the…the…the … o appeara a le a bit …a bit bigger as compared to the first
picture there. So, o bona gore it all depends gore it ( ). And then this one will look
taller and the other one will look flattering [POINTS AT THE PICTURES IN THE
HANDOUT; THEN READS FROM HANDOUT]
20
T: Now we look at the crossed lines. They appear long ( ). Usually these lines …
they are good for…eh…gakere when you make … when you look at this one
[POINTS AT PICTURE] the second picture there, ha o lebelela the lines, the curved
lines have been used just above; ee mo busteng hela ha [TOUCHES HER BUST] just
below the bust, ha! Wa bona gakere mo picturing? Don’t look at me; kare mo
pictureng! … just below the bust wa bona gakere? he?
C: Ee mma.
T: So, if this side where it is, ha o lebelela jaana, ekare ( ) gakere? So these lines
they will be used for such designs such as maternity dresses, so that they can help to
hide the tummy; gakere? Ee. And also when you look like ba bua gore the
“impression of femininity”, ha o apere these… these… eh… curved lines, di go dira
gore o nne full! You should look like a real … mm! a real woman, he! Wa
bogologolo! They want you to look full full gore o bonale gore o mosadi. Heh? Yes!
This attire ya bo… ya bo… gatwe bo mang? Mm… boo…bo Knightingale … gone
hoo. What they used to wear, they would wear full dresses ba tsenya what you call
fastening gail mo teng. A fastening gail was a petticoat of some sort. And this petticoat
e ne e rokiwa e nna full full full! Go ne go dirisiwa le ( ) ga ke itse a go dirisiwa
le diwaere mo teng jaana. ( ) so that ha o apara, as she walks, heh! Go bo go
bonala gore ke mosadi yo o full because of these curved lines. Heh! … Gakere le a
itse jaaka Baherero …. lets give an example, yes, the way they dress, heh! Ha ba
tswa kwa [TOUCHING HER UPPER BUST] go thaete (tight)! Gakere? Heh! Then
when they get here [TOUCHES HER WAISTLINE] it flares. Gakere? Le tsone di
line tse di khevang (curved lines) tse. So, they really look like ( ), heh? heh?
C: (in chorus) Ee mma.
T: Still tsone the rounded lines … e bua gore [REFERRING TO HANDOUT] what
will… will happen batlaa bo ba apara tsone di fastening gails … tsone di fastening
gails tseo and give a complete curve. Ke gore they will be gathered jaana
[DEMONSTRATES] and then kwano go tshwara. So that ha a tsamaya go bo go
bona mongwe le mongwe.
So, the rounded … eh…[READS FROM HANDOUT]
T: So, imagine if I’m wearing rounded lines, how will I look like? Ke tla bo ke nna
tlougadi jaanong.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: [READS FROM HANDOUT, THEN EXPLAINS]
C: So when you look at the last picture there [REFERS TO PICTURE IN THE
HANDOUT] heh! you create an ( ) effect. You can use a short cut ( ) is usually
full at the top and then ha e tla kwano e bo e nna eng? Ebe e tla e tshwara. Heh!
And then [READS FROM HANDOUT]
T: A silhouette go tewa our body … go tewa our body. …and now we look at the
shape…. So this is our body so mongwe le mongwe a itse gore figara ya gagwe entse
jang…. So, from now re ya go nna le mmirra (mirror) we should know gore re ntse
21
jang. Mongwe le mongwe a itse ka ha mmele wa gagwe o ntseng ka teng.One of
my lecturers wa fashion and fabrics ko universiting used to tell us gore we should talk
to us. You know you look at the mirror and o bo o re “mirror mirror talk to me, talk to
me”; a apara.
C: [GIGGLES]
T: You just wear your underwear hela, heh! …you just wear your underwear; o bo o
ipolelela gore, “hei I have a protruding tummy, I have a puffed face” Nna I know
myself. So you look at yourself so that you choose the right clothes; heh! Re
autlwana?
C: (some) Ee mma.
T: So, go raya gore after this lesson mongwe le mongwe ha a boa kwa, a bo a
analaesa (analyze) mmele wa gagwe. So that you choose (class interrupts)
C: (in chorus) Ga re na diipone.
T: Mma?
C: (in chorus) Ga re na diipone.
T: Gakere re nale mirror ke o [POINTING AT THE CLASS MIRROR], heh? Ee.
C: Aa! Re bo re apolela kae?
T: O tsena hela ka kwa, you just come here, nnyaa re bo re tswala the curtains; ga
gona mathata.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Mongwe le mongwe e re ha a chusa a bo a itse gore o chusa the right element for
se a itseng gore otlaa fita sentle mo go sone. So, let’s look at the shape and form. The
shape we agreed … we are referring to the square, round, or triangle and the like.
[READS FROM HANDOUT] ‘So, the shapes cannot be achieved without lines…”
[THEN EXPLAINS]
T: For you to come up with a …a square, you need to have what? Heh? …For you to
come up with a square o tlhokana le eng?
C: (silence)
T: You need lines and you need (
) then you come up with a shape; gakere?
C: Ee mma.
T: Yes, you come up with a shape. [THEN READS FROM HANDOUT AND
EXPLAINS] mo mmetseng (math) gakere? [THEN READS AGAIN]
22
T: So, you think that e le gore ( ) shape, you can use this to come up with a shape,
eh! Go simolola gore tlhaloganyo ya gago e go raya ere … ‘end’. Fa o sena gonna o
hetsa you realize that you need these lines to come up with a shape and as you design,
you design … and then o dira sheipi (shape). If you design a dress for me you are
coming up with shape, gakere? Because you’re mixing these lines to come up with a
shape. So, let’s look at number one [READS FROM HANDOUT]
T: E chaile?
C: Ee mma.
T: Go siame, retla tswelela next time.
At the end of the lesson the teacher winds up the lesson in the mix of both English and
Setswana.
23
TRANSCRIPTION 3
Lesson: History
Topic: The colonization of the Cape by the Dutch
The greetings and other house keeping matters were done in Setswana. The lesson
started with recapping of previous lesson, and then moving on to the topic of the day.
The lesson was teacher-centred as the teacher mainly delivered the lesson while the
class listened attentively. The teacher tried to involve the learners in the development
of the lesson by asking them questions at intervals; but with little success. The learners
were reserved, and reluctant to respond to the teacher’s questions. The teacher mainly
delivered the lesson in English and also explained in English; but switched to Setswana
for social reasons or to occasionally reiterate what he had already said in English.
However, in a few instances he cs to Setswana to emphasize what he had already said
in English and also to give an analogy in order to help the learners to understand what
he was explaining (e.g. the point he made about how catle herders are remunerated in
Botswana and the conditions under which Jan Van Riebeck’s company servants were
treated). The teacher was articulate and delivered the lesson in an unambiguous
manner even though the learners were reserved and did not participate much in the
lesson development even when the teacher asked leading questions.
T: Dumelang!
C: Ee, rra.
T: Cleanang blackboard. [A LEARNER VOLUNTEERS TO CLEAN THE
CHALKBOARD] Dira ka bonako.
T: ( ) How they responded to the Portuguese attempt to colonize their Kingdom;
moving onto the Portuguese showing interest in the ( ) kingdom which was then
under the leadership of Queen Ntsinga. And since they staged some campaigns against
the colonization ( ), but in the end, the Portuguese were nevertheless able to colonize
Angola. And then you know that Angola was a colony of Portugal. Now we are to
look at a different story here which is the colonization of the Cape by the Dutch. To
start with, maybe I could have ( ). To start with, from which country are the Dutch?
C: [SILENCE]
T: The Dutch are from which country? … If people are referred to as the Dutch, they
are from? …yes (name)?
L1: Holland.
T: They are from Holland … Holland. This country … Holland, is also known as
Holland or …?
L2: The Netherlands.
T: Holland or The Netherlands … or The Nether…lands … So, Dutch here we mainly
use it to refer to the people themselves, their nationality or their language. We are
saying these people are from this country called Holland or the Netherlands. What
24
about the Cape? … In which country do we find the Cape? … Or before we go on, in
which continent is Holland? Holland is found in which continent? ... In Africa …
Asia … Ha? Yes (name)?
L3: In Europe.
T: Okay, Holland is in Europe. And what about the Cape? … It is found in which
country? … Yes (name)?
L4: In South Africa.
T: Yes, in South Africa. So we’re talking about this country … Holland or the
Netherlands … showing some interest in a place in South Africa; and that place is the
Cape. We shall have a rough sketch here of the map of Africa. [DRAWS A MAP OF
AFRICA ON THE CHALKBOARD] Amh…where is Europe there? [POINTING AT
THE CHALKBOARD ASKING THE CLASS TO INDICATE ON WHICH SIDE OF
AFRICA EUROPE WAS]
C: [SILENCE]
T: Is it this side? This side? That side or on southern part? [POINTS AT THE MAP]
C: [SILENCE]
T: Is it in the northern part? Eastern part? Western part or southern part? … Europe.
[POINTS AT ONE OF THE LEARNERS TO ANSWER]
L5: (
) [MUMBLES THE ANSWER]
T: Hah? [SIGNALS THAT HE DID NOT HEAR]
L5: [REPEATS ANSWER]
T: Okay, we find Europe there. [POINTS AT THE CHALKBOARD] And we are
saying that … we are talking about the Dutch colonization of the Cape; and we find the
Cape here; [POINTS AT MAP OF AFRICA] at the tip of South Africa. What you’re
supposed to understand is the events which led to this country … Holland, to
eventually develop some interest in this place here. [POINTING AT THE CAPE ON
THE MAP] Holland, just like Portugal, had some interest in the East. The Far East, we
are talking about a place somewhere here … Asia [POINTS AT CHALKBOARD]. To
be specific, we’re talking about India and the Islands of Indonesia. There was a very
lucrative trade in gold, silver, and spices in the Far East. So these countries … Holland,
Britain, and Portugal, … they sent out some people to sail right there from Europe,
right there in Africa to the Far East. [POINTS AT THE LOCATIONS ON THE
CHALKBOARD]. Because they were after these commodities: gold, silver and spices
… which they found here. [POINTING AT THE FAR EAST ON THE MAP] They
could not just easily cross from this point up to here … [POINTS AT MAP] because
by then the Suez Canal had not been established. So, that’s why they had to take that
long trip right round Africa up to Asia. [SHOWS LONG ROUTE FROM EUROPE
TO ASIA] … Now what problems do you think were encountered by the sailors as
25
they travelled from Europe, round Africa, up to the Far East … looking for the items
that we’ve listed here?
C: [SILENCE]
T: What possible problems may have been encountered? (name)
L6: Tiredness.
T: Some actually … or let me just say ‘tiredness’ is obviously a…one of the problems
that these people may have encountered. Amh…what longest trip have you ever
travelled? (name) … Have you ever travelled?
L7: No.
T: What about you? (name) A mme o bua nnete? [REFERRING TO LEARNER 7]
Ee?
L8: Maun.
T: Maun? And you were from which point to Maun?
L8: (
) [MENTIONS NAME OF PLACE]
T: You were from which place?
L8: (
) [REPEATS HER ANSWER]
T: What problems did you encounter on the way?
L8: Hunger.
T: Hah? … hah?
L8: Hunger.
T: Hunger? … What about you? (name) …What about you? … Ha? Or were you just
okay from here up to Maun? [ADDRESSING L8 AGAIN] … Hah? … Any other?
What problems did you encounter in the longest journey that you have ever taken?
L9: [MUMBLES] Hunger.
T: Hah! … Hunger? Le tshwerwe ke tala le ha go ntse jalo.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Hei, le tshwarwa ke tala mothoho jang! Okay, whenever someone has to drive a
very long distance or you’re just there as a passenger, a…the chances that you’re going
to get tired … maybe traveling from here to Gaborone … traveling from here to
Kasane, Maun … five hundred or more kilometers … you’re bound to get tired.
Ee…that’s why batho ba bo road transport … they advise people to have some
26
eh…points where they may rest, just relax for maybe, thirty minutes and then you
continue with your journey. So, we’re saying that these people … as they sailed from
Europe to the Far East, they faced these problems of tiredness. Also there was a
problem of the outbreak of scurvy … What is scurvy?
C: [SILENCE]
T: What is scurvy?
C: [SILENCE]
T: We agreed that these people got tired because the journeys were really long. The
other problem was that there was outbreak of the disease, and the disease ke eng? …
L10: (
)
T: Will you please raise your voice!
L10: This is caused by lack of vitamins.
T: This is caused by a lack of vitamins … or to be more specific, especially by a lack
of vegetables … fresh vegetables. So this means that there was a call for the
establishment of a point … where these sailors from Europe to the Far East could rest
… for sometime … so they could have their ships being attended to, scurvy being
treated before they continued with their journeys. Before they could think about the
Cape, the sailors had been using the island of St. Helena … which is just along the
coast of the Atlantic Ocean … next to Angola. So they were using that island of St.
Helena, but the problem was that the island was not quite convenient. They could not
have a fresh supply of fresh vegetables or meat. That is, when they compared with the
Cape … if they were to have their half-way station at the Cape. Other thing that is
worth noting is that … amh…these people of Holland … they were pursuing their
interest in the far East through the Dutch East India Company; and the British through
the English East India Company. Gakere there was that island of St. Helena ( )
some problems to the sailors. So there was a need to find… [LONG PAUSE DUE TO
INTERRUPTION BY A KNOCK AT THE DOOR BY SOME OF THE LEARNERS
WHO WERE LATE FOR THE LESSON] Le tswa kae?
L: We were lost.
T: Heh? were you in room eleven?
Ls: (in chorus) Rra?
T: Were you in room eleven?
Ls: Ee rra.
[LEARNERS ALLOWED TO SETTLE DOWN BEFORE TEACHER CONTINUES
WITH THE LESSON]
27
T: So, we were saying that now there was need for these sailors to find them alternative
half-way point … because this island of St. Helena was not quite convenient to them;
and there was an incident which led to the establishment of the Cape as a half-way
point, and, subsequently as a colony of Holland. [SILENCE] So, that incident which
led to the establishment of the Cape as a halfway point happened in 1647. There was a
Dutch ship which was sailing from Europe there [POINTING AT THE MAP ON THE
CHALKBOARD] to the Far East. That Dutch ship was sailing to the Far East … That
Dutch ship was known as the Harlem. As this ship was sailing to the Far East, the ship
got wrecked around the Cape. This means that it was damaged. The ship got wrecked
around the Cape and the members of the Harlem were at the Cape for six months. So it
was while these people were at the Cape … after their ship got damaged that they felt
that they were to move from St. Helena … and now have their half-way station at the
Cape. It could be really quite convenient as compared to St. Helena … because while
they were there for six months, after their ship got damaged, they were able to interact
with the people there at the Cape … and see what the place was like; and now they
were comparing with St Helena. They felt it would be wise for them to now have the
Cape as their half-way point … and forget about St. Helena. So, that’s when they
made a recommendation to the Dutch government that now they should move the halfway point from St. Helena to the Cape. And they advanced the reason why they felt
the Cape was better. And the Dutch government had no problem in approving the
recommendations of the crew … And subsequently the Dutch government sent a team
which was led by Jan Van Riebeck with specific instructions of turning the Cape into a
half-way station. … And what were they to do? … One, they were to establish friendly
relations with the Khoi in order to trade with them for… What is it that the Khoi have,
that they’re well-known for?
C: [SILENCE]
T: The Khoi … they are…? Hehh…?:
L10: Cattle herders.
T: They ‘re cattle herders … So, these people were to establish friendly relations with
the Khoi, so that they could trade with them for meat. … Ah! The other problem that
we mentioned, is that there was an outbreak of scurvy. Now I want you to go and read
that topic; … So what else do you think these people were to do at the Cape in order to
solve the problem of scurvy for the sailors?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Ha? … There was a problem of scurvy and it was to be solved … and now we’re
having these people moving from Holland to the Cape … to establish the Cape as a
half-way point. One, to establish friendly relations with the Khoi in order to trade with
them for meat. But there was another thing which was of importance … what do you
think was to be done in order to solve the problem of scurvy? (name) What causes
scurvy?
L11: [SILENCE]
T: I mean, someone answered that question just a few minutes back! … What did we
say causes scurvy? Yes (name)?
28
L12: Lack of fresh vegetables.
T: Ee…! Lack of vegetables. What do you think these people were to do in order to
solve the problem of scurvy? … Yes (name)?
L13: (
) [MUMBLES]
T: Raise your voice.
L13: To give them (
)
T: No! not quite convincing … Yes (name)?
L14: I think to give them food.
T: Where would that food be obtained? …Ah…! (name) In their? Okay you’ve got
some vegetables, where do you get them from? … Say you want some vegetables,
where would you get those vegetables? … Yes (name)?
L15: You get them from the gardens.
T: Okay, to establish some gardens; … and raw vegetables to supply Dutch ships to
and from India. So, there were a number of people who left Holland under the
leadership of Jan Van Riebeck. They were there to establish the Cape as a half-way
point. Ah…! And then to establish some gardens and grow vegetables to supply Dutch
ships to and from India. … To establish friendly relations with the Khoi. Why?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Because they wanted to get meat from the Khoi. And also to establish a fort of the
( ) Jan van Riebeck and his team were to establish a fort, and what’s a fort? ... Jan
Van Riebeck and his team were to establish a fort at the Cape; … What’s a fort?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Heh?
L15: (
) [mumbles]
T: Raise your voice! Ah? … heh? … What?
L15: (
) [MUMBLES]
T: ...A building from which soldiers can defend a settlement. So, this fort was to house
or accommodate soldiers who would be there to protect the Cape settlement, …and
also to be used as a hospital. What was need for a hospital there? …What purpose do
you think was to be served?
C: [SILENCE]
29
T: Ha? … What purpose do you think the hospital there served? Ako o suthe board.
[addressing a learner who had previously cleaned the chalkboard]
C: [SILENCE]
T: You’re saying they were to establish a fort from which soldiers would defend the
settlement at the Cape; … and also for it to be used as a hospital… now, what purpose
do you think that the hospital was to serve?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Se ne se dirisediwa eng sepatela? Kana the answer is very obvious! Heh? Yes?
[to Learner 15]
L15: (
) [MUMBLES]
T: A…a….a! raise your voice!
L15: It was meant to attend those people sailing to India.
T: Yes, there was need to attend to those people sailing to and from India … especially
the outbreak of this … eh… scurvy. There was need for a hospital to be established
there in order to cater for those who may fall sick during these long trips to and from
India. Are you okay (name)?
L16: Yes.
T: Hah? … Are you sure?
L16: Yes.
T: Okay … okay we have looked at the ( ), specific instructions of Jan Van Riebeck,
and they were given ( ) … now turning to the Cape, turning it into a half-way point;
establish a fort there to house the soldiers, in order to be used as a hospital; to establish
gardens in order to grow vegetables and supply Dutch ships to and from India; to
establish friendly relations with the Khoi in order to get some meat. Now, when Jan
Van Riebeck arrived at the Cape in 1652 and embarked on this project; all was not well
… the first ten years were actually full of problems for Jan Van Riebeck and his team;
… and what problems did Jan Van Riebeck face?
C: [SILENCE]
T: The first problem was that in that same year that they arrived in 1652, there was an
outbreak of drought … there was an outbreak of drought in 1652. Stop writing!
[TEACHER INSTRUCTS LEARNERS TO LISTEN AND NOT TO WRITE NOTES]
Now, how have that drought affected Jan Van Riebeck and his team’s plans? How
have that drought affected Jan Van Riebeck’s plans?
C: [SILENCE]
30
T: Answer the questions with reference to what we have just mentioned here. A ko
oye go cleana ka fa.
C: [SILENCE]
T: How have that drought affected Jan Van Riebeck’s plans?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Answer the question … just refer to these [POINTS AT NOTES ON
CHALKBOARD] Ah…! Yes (name)?
L 17: At least to shutter the plans of Jan Van Riebeck to trade in meat.
T: Can you explain that further?
L17: The animals died because of the drought so the trade in meat could not take place.
T: Aha…! She said that … eh…the animals died because of the drought. So, still that
trade … in meat … could not be effective since some animals died. Yes (name)?
L18: (
) [mumbles]
T: You can raise your voice
T: Mmh…! Which people? Jaanong ke wena o ( )! Okay you’re saying because of
the drought … people there at the farm may have decided to move to other places.
Ehe! … A..a…a …a! raise your voice [TO L 18]
L18: Vegetables did not grow well.
T: Because of these outbreak of drought, vegetables did not grow well. Which
problems continued? You’re saying there was an outbreak of drought and when there
was outbreak, which problems there continued? And when there was drought,
vegetables there did not grow well, so what problems then continued to be there?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Yes (name)? Nna free hela o bue o seka wa tshaba.
L19: Scurvy.
T: Yah! The problem of scurvy continued because there was drought and vegetables
didn’t grow well. So, those vegetables which could be produced by Jan Van Riebeck
and his men could not be enough to be supplied to Dutch ships to and from India …
and also we’re talking about cattle here, belonging to the Khoikhoi; who by then were
in the Cape. So when there was that outbreak of drought, they moved northwards …
a…into the interior. Right. Assuming that is the tip where the Cape is [POINTING
AT THE MAP ON THE CHALKBOARD], now when there was drought, the Khoi
started to move into the interior with their cattle … with the hope that they could
probably find better pastures … so what happened? Now when these people moved
31
away from the Cape, the Khoi, that is, the Khoi moved away from the Cape into the
interior, hoping that they could find better pastures there. What problem did that
present the Company?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Hah?
L 20: (
)
T: Okay, because the Khoi were right there at the Cape [POINTING AT THE MAP],
and there being an outbreak of the drought, forcing the Khoi to move to the interior
leaving Jan Van Riebeck a victim there ….it means that …that trade between the
Company and the Khoi was affected now because of the distance. These people had to
travel from the Cape to follow the Khoi where they were in order to trade with them
for meat … are you following?
C: (some) Yes!
T: ga gona mathata? Hah?
C: (some) Yes!
T: Okay! So we talked about the outbreak of drought, vegetables failing, Khoi moving
into the interior. Are they any questions so far? … Hah?
C; [SILENCE]
T: Any questions? … Hah?
C: (some) No.
T: Okay, the other problem was that the people who had been living with Jan Van
Riebeck, whom we shall refer to as the Company servants were not happy because the
conditions in which they lived were bad. Ke bo mang ba ba nang le dikgomo ko ga
bone?
C: [SILENCE]
T:Hah? Ee, kana meraka jaana? … Heh? [SOME LEARNERS RAISED THEIR
HANDS TO INDICATE THAT THEIR PARENTS HAVE CATTLE POSTS]
T: Le ba duela jang?
L21: They are given old clothes, you don’t pay them; they are given food.
T: So those company servants with the Jan Van Riebeck team were not happy because
the conditions in which they lived were not good; they were deplorable. So they
started to be uncooperative.
[Bell rings to signal the end of the lesson]
32
T: Okay, it is time up; we shall continue next time but make sure that you read that
chapter.
[learners leave the class and there is noise as they talk to each other]
33
Transcription 4
Lesson: English Language
The lesson was for English Language and the topic was a Comprehension Passage
titled “Man and Animals”
The teacher initiated the greetings in Setswana and the learners responded in English.
The lesson introduction was brief but it was also done in English. The lesson was
characterized by asking the learners to read aloud the passage paragraph by paragraph,
and then followed by its discussion by the class led by the teacher. The teacher was
active, articulate, very jolly with his class and the learners appeared relaxed and
following the progress of the lesson. The teacher was active and walked between the
rows of the learners’ desks to keep the class attentive. The discussion of the passage
involved interpretation of the passage paragraph by paragraph as well as explanation of
the meanings of selected words used in the passage. The learners were asked to give
other words which had similar meanings as those used in the passage. At the end the
class was asked to identify three points from the passage that accurately summarize
ways in which man mistreated or destroyed animals. There was very little CS
employed during the lesson. At the end of the lesson
Below is the actual transcription of the lesson:
T: Okay, I asked you to read this paper over the weekend and I believe you did.
Remember ( ) and I want us to look at the question particularly the vocabulary
section in question number eight, and after that we are going to look at the summary
question and identify the summary points. Basically, we are going to identify the
summary points after we have looked at the vocabulary exercise. Are you sure we are
together?
C: (in chorus) Yes.
T: Thank you very much, thank you very much boys and girls. Thank you very much.
Let’s look at the part on a…page four. Now, now that you have read the passage
again, everybody, I want you to have a look at question number…eight; …let us look
at question number …eight. In here the ques…the examiner expects us to choose five
of the words from the list or phrase. And for each of them, you are expected to give
one word or a short phrase of not more than seven words which have the same
meaning as the word or phrase found in the passage. Yes, and we go back to the
vocabulary exercise here ( ), the vocabulary exercise. Anyway, let me say, what do
we call a word that have the same name or follow the same name? What do we call
them?
C: [IN CHORUS] synonyms.
T: …raise your hand! You don’t have (
) in here! Oh… yes, yes, mm… (name)
L1: synonyms.
T: Ee, yes, they are synonyms ( ). Here you either give a synonym or a phrase of
not more than…not more than seven words. Right?
34
C: (some) Yes.
T: Yes… and please boys and girls, let us have a look at number one. ‘Grave’ from
line nineteen, of course we are going to get the meaning first from the passage. Let us
look from the passage… let us look at line nineteen please,… line nineteen and see
how the word has been used. Mmh… who can read the sentence containing that
particular word? … who can … yes (name)
L2: [READS ALOUD FROM THE PASSAGE]
T: Hey wait! Mmh…[CLASS LAUGHS] I did say line number eighteen (
)
C: [IN CHORUS] Mmm…!
T: Mmm…!
L2: [READS FROM PASSAGE] “Despite ... despite this, there was a grave
disadvantage in being a totem animal because … if an animal was the totem of some
sacred tribe, it could be attacked…”
T: Alright, ( ) it could be attacked or destroyed jaaka eng? Despite this, there was a
great disadvantage (…) disadvantage, sorry, in being a totem. Bane ba bua nnete.
“Grave” disadvantage. What other words can we… can we…give … that means the
same or is the same as the word ‘grave’?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Yes, yes, yes, mmh…? Great
L3: Great.
T: Great? Heh? so will it be a ‘great’ disadvantage?
C: (some) No. (others) Yes.
T: Do you all agree?
C: Yes
T: It is the word ‘grave’; … can it be synonymous with the word ‘great’? … heh? …
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes; … ah, yes, no, no, let us look for another word; … mmh? …
yes? (name) [POINTING AT A LEARNER WHO HAS RAISED HIS HAND]
L4: Dangerous.
T: Aha! … yes, ‘great’ is synonymous with ‘dangerous’… dangerous what? …
Advantage. Very good! Any other?
L5: Disadvantage (
)
T: I beg your pardon
35
L5: Disadvantage …
T: ( ) oh! Oh! sorry, thank you very much …thank you very much for that. (
morning, I like I like that…
) this
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Yes, yes, yes please, Yes (name)
L6: Serious.
T: Yes, … another one? … Serious. Mmh! Serious disadvantage … disadvantage. Any
other … any other word? Alright, some of you are still keeping my copies of my (
). Do you have it?
C: [IN CHORUS] No.
T: ( ) Okay? I thought you…you ( ). Right, …basically these are some of the
words that are synonymous with ‘grave’… or we found in the passage. Alright?
C: Yes.
T: Now another word is ‘devised’, alright?
C: Mm..(yes)
T: Now let’s look at the line in which we…we find…on which we find the word
‘devised’. Line number … thirty six … line number thirty six, boys and girls. Who
can read it for us? …Who can read from the passage? Mmh...! (name) [SIGNALLING
TO A LEARNER TO READ]
L7: [READS]
T: Yee…s, aa…m…circus … circus acts were ‘devised’ in which the strength of
animals was dominated by human intelligence. So that word ‘devise’ means? … Can
you come up with alternatives or substitutes for the word ‘devise’ boys and girls? …
Mmh? … yes, yes, yes, yes, yes boys and girls. Yes (name).
L8: I think is ‘display’.
T: Discipline? … Displayed?
L8: Displayed.
T: Displayed? … He thinks it is ‘displayed’… is it correct? … do you all agree?
C: Yes.
T: I… I can see a hand up (
) or did I give you another one? (
)
L9: Introduced.
36
T: Aha! … she says were ‘introduced’! No, it’s not, it’s not aaa…, what is that word?
… Its not ‘displayed’ not ‘displayed, ha? Did you say the…the circus? … Okay,
would you say the circus’ acts were ‘displayed’ in which the strength of animals were (
) dominated? Aah, its not the most appropriate word in this case … mmh? You talked
of devised, what did you talk of devising things in … in thee… from our … what’s this
? Science what?
L9: In the science lessons.
T: Science lessons, gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ee..!
T: Where you talk of … heh? What is this…what is this ‘devise’ that this this blah
blah! I mean as ‘devised’, some had said to ‘introduce’… mmh! Yes? [POINTS AT A
LEARNER TO ANSWER]
L10: To make.
T: “To make” … mmh! They were made. Were set up by aah! (
word, beginning with the letter ‘f”… the letter ‘f’.
) Alright, another
L11: Formed.
T: (
)
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: The circus acts were ‘formed’? … Aa…no! Another one better than that one?
L12: Were found.
T: Were ‘found’? No,
L13: Formulated.
T: ‘Formulated’… ‘formulated’ … or they were ‘formulated’? Another one that begins
with the letter ‘E’. ( ) of course, they were…? … Heh?
L14: (
)
T: Europe? No, not Europe.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Okay, yes, mmh? (
), gakere?
C: [IN CHORUS] Yes.
37
T: Right, thank you very much. Now let’s look at another word … ‘dominated’, … the
word ‘dominated’ in which a a… “…in which the strength of animals was ‘dominated’
by human intelligence…” ‘Dominated’ … what does that word mean? Yes? (name)
L15: (
)
T: Aha! … ‘control’ … another word is ‘control’; right? Another one? ‘Overpowered’
… it was ‘overpowered’, okay?
C: (some) Yes.
T: Next one … word number four … ‘conscious of’ … ‘conscious of’, Mmh? On
line…on line fifty. Can we go there? … Who can read that? (name) Yes, go ahead.
L16: [READS FROM THE PASSAGE]
T: Yes, thank you very much … ‘conscious’ of their limitations’ … what does that
mean? ( ) or ‘conscious of’ … mmh? Any other word we can use? …
‘conscious’…
L17: (
)
T: I beg your pardon (name); you know (
you want to say something.
) say whatever you want to say; I can see
L17: ‘Because of their limitations.’
T: Alright, she says ‘because of their … limitations’, ‘because of …’ no…! Try again,
not that one, mmh? … any other? … yes?
L18: ‘Despite’.
T: ‘Despite’? … heh! … ‘Conscious of’, ‘despite their limitations’? … No. It has got a
different meaning altogether, but we can use it in…in that ( ) alternative ( ) of
that part. Mmh? … conscious … conscious, what does that word mean, ‘conscious’?
… When you are conscious, you are…? The word begins with an ‘A’.
[BELL RINGS TO SIGNAL THE END OF THE LESSON]
T: Okay, it is time up so we shall finish next time. A…a…a! don’t go yet boys and
girls [LEARNERS REMAIN SEATED AS TEACHER CONFIRMS THE NUMBER
OF THE LEARNERS IN THE CLASS BY GENDER]
T: Thank you very much boys and girls. [LEARNERS LEAVE THE CLASS FOR
ANOTHER LESSON]
38
TRANSCRIPTION 5
Lesson: Setswana
The teacher greeted the class in Setswana and they also responded in Setswana. The
lesson began with a brief discussion of the effects of the reintroduction of school fees
in the secondary schools. This discussion was the result of suspension from classes of a
large number of learners whose parents had not paid. The discussion was hotly debated
by the class, initiated by the teacher. The learners strongly felt that it was unfair for the
government to reintroduce payment of school fees because most of their parents were
not working and could, therefore, not afford the school fees. The debate generated a
lot of noise as most of the learners spoke at the same time and in raised voices.
During the lesson, the teacher code-switched a lot but the learners were discouraged
from doing the same. The lesson was lively and the teacher was humorous too.
Below is the transcription part of the lesson:
T: Dumelang!
C: Dumela morutabana.
T: Ee, a re bue ka kgang ya school fees; la reng ka yone?
L1: [INAUDIBLE AND CODE-SWITCHES BETWEEN ENGLISH AND
SETSWANA]
T: [TEACHER INTERRUPTS] A re bue ka Setswana . Ke itse Sekgowa go go heta….
C: [LAUGHS]
L1: Nna kene kere (
)
T: Jaanong la reng? Ke gore hela ga le bate?
C: Ee…!
T: Ba ba duelang bone ba ye kae?
C: [RESPONDED IN A GROUP] (
)
L1: Gape le itse gore… le itse gore ga re lekane re se meno.
T: Sorry!
L1: Ga re lekane re se meno.
T: Ga le lekane le se meno?
L1: Ee…!
T: A mme baba sa dueleng ke ba ba itsapang?
C: [ALL AT ONCE] (
)
39
T: (
)
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: A mme le ba thaloseditse gore ga le na madi?
C: Ee…!
T: Ke mang jaanong yo o reng “nnyaya mme tota gone goromente o dira sente? ( )
C: [LAUGHTER]
L2: (
)
T: Go nale yo o mo tatsang? … Go nale lekoko? Lekoko la ga mang?
L3: Nna ke tseela … ke tseela gore goromente o dirile sente hela. Ke raya gore re ntse
re tsena hela go sena madi. Jaanong a ba a ntsha … a ntsha … nnetane, … ke bokae?
… Ke five gakere? A madi a ne re tshwanetse gore re a duele; a re utwela bothoko so,
o dira sente; haa re duele … haa re duele.
C: (some) Aaa…! [WITH SURPRISE AND DISAPPROVAL ]
T: E e! Wena ga o bue kgang ya rona.
C: (some) [LAUGHTER]
T: Ba ntshitse mabaka a mabedi, ba re, motsadi o nale gone gore ha a go tsenya sekole
kgotsa ebile a nna le wena, a ba a … a ba a itse gore o ta a go duelela. Gakere?
C: [FEW RESPONDED] Ee!
T: Ke lebaka gore “ke rebotse ngwanake ke yo le a ye makgolelo. Go rialo ke le
motsadi ke ta a bona gore ngwanake o ta a helela a ile ko ( ).” Yo mongwe a ba a
helela a ile ko ( ). Yo mongwe a ba a re lebaka le lengwe ke gore “nnyaa, mme tota (
) goromente o a re tshamekisa ka gore ga se gore madi a go tweng re a duele ke e…(
) koone tota a eleng gore a go tsenya sekole; ka gore goromente a re “ke go rekela
(pause) ke go rekela dibuka, ke go duelela barutabana, ke go agetse diclassroom, ke
go agetse ha o robalang teng, le dijo, jalo jalo”.
C: [MUMBLES AS TEACHER SPEAKS]
T: Ha are o duele four hundred and fifty, o itse gore four hundred and fifty o dira
eng ka ene?
C: (some) Nnyaa
T: Ha ke ka go raya ka re o itse gore P450.00 ha keya Francistown … ke boa a hedile
for two or three hours … ke ta ke le mosetha jaaka lempona.
L3: [AGREES] mm! (others) [LAUGHTER]
40
T: Ee! Di pedi tsa bone, ba bangwe batsadi ga ba na madi, ga go na yo mongwe gape,
ka kwa ga gona ope yo o … yo o tsenyang ya boraro ka ha! … ee!
L4: (
)
T: Ha nko ele gore mongwe le mongwe gontse jalo o ka bo o e beile jang? … O ka bo
o rile batsadi gaba ( ) e e dikgwetho gaba itse dithulaganyo tsa bone kana tse e leng
gore di ditona di ( ) ka sekgowa re re prioritization. Ga ba itse go prioritiza.
Motsadi o kgona go go rekela cellphone ya one thousand Pula! Mme a bo a re ga ana
four fifty Pula wa school fees! O itse gore nna phone ya me ke bokae? ( ) Ke two
hundred Pula! E a tura ha le e bona e le ha!
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ke gore e a (
) ga nke ke e tshwara mo gare ga batho. Ke letsa mo sephiring hela.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Jaanong mathata ka ha o buang ka teng ke gore gaba itse ( ). O kgona gore a bo a
go rekela dilwana tsa weekend. Go nale dithako tse dingwe kana gatwe magomora,
tse di emang ha.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ke six hundred Pula! Mme o ka nna wa hithela gore mongwe le mongwe o nale
tsone gone ha ka weekend! Ka weekend ha le bina hale le taa bo le di rwele! Six
hundred Pula! Gakere?
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Heh! ga e kake ya nna hela gore batsadi ga ba na madi, ( ) Nnyaa kgantele o kare
e taa lala e tsamaya gotwe three Pula everyone mme e setse e tsamaela half-time.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ee, ba na le mabaka a bone; lona le didimetse ga le ntshe mabaka . Mme ebile ke
lona ba le ne le goa go gaisa mongwe le mongwe. Le ratile go diga ( ); o ratile go (
).
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ee, a re go nale boitseme. Mokgwa wa gore ‘athama ke go jese’. Ko go goromente
( ) a ba a simolola a rialo. Ga se gore ke lona batsadi. Batsadi ba lona ga se ba ntha
ba thoka madi. Rona ha re tsena sekole re ne re duela gatwe bokae term le term? …Re
ne re duela bokae ne batho…? Re ne re duela two hundred Pula. Kana ke raya ka
seventy; ka…ka…ka term! Term term term!
C: (some) Di le kae?
T: Di le dintsi. Go raya gore di kae? Di nine! Go bo go nna le tse four.
41
L4: [ASKS A QUESTION] (
)
T: Bane baya go bapala morogo, ba bo baya go o rekisa. Matshelo a Setswana. Baya ko
go semangmang, yo o nang le kgomo hale ba rekisa kgomo. Ba go tsaya ha le ba go isa
kwa. Nna ke goletse ko go rakgadi. Re ne re le bantsi ko lwapeng. Rakgadi ka gore o
ne a nale ngwana a le mongwe go bo gotwe “tsamaya o ye go nna le rakgadiago”.
Gape mme batsadi bateng ba itsane. Jaaka rona re le ha jaana ba setse ba itse. Ha rona
re chaisa re re re a go itisa kwa , re hithela go sena ope mo lwapeng.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ee, tota ee! Kgang e tona ke gore ee, ke ne ke bata go le (
bangwe ga ba na madi ( )
L5: [COMMENTS] (
). Ke a itse tota gore ba
)
T: Ke gore a re batsadi ba na le di ( ) ba bangwe ga ba a tsena sekole; gakere? Yo
mongwe ha a ba a re … nnyaa …ee..go siame, akere mme goromente o rile ga go ntse
jalo o bo o tsena ha, lebaka le lengwe ba bangwe ke ba khansele, nooo! Ke lebaka le a
utwala ( ). Jaanong batho ha ba ne ba tsile ka mashetla. Ee, a nte re e thame kgang e,
re tsene mo thopiking (topic) ya rona. E ne e le gore ( ). Ke bata gore le be le ta le
araba jaaka le ne le ntse le dira. Gakere?
C: Ee.
T: Ee, jaanong a re tsene mo thopiking. Ka gore ke le reile ka re nna se ke se rutang
ke se le se itseng, mme sa me ke go le tsenya hela mo laeneng. so, go raya gore re ne
re dira eng ha?
C: [SILENCE]
T: Re ntse re dira eng hela golo ha?
C: [(SILENCE]
T: Ee, re ntse re dira eng? [SIGNALS A LEARNER TO ANSWER]
L6: Puisanyo … puisanyo.
T: Puisanyo? Re ntse re buisanya? Ee? (name) [CALLING ANOTHER LEARNER TO
RESPOND]
L7: Ke tsaya gore re ne re nganga.
T: O kare re ne re nganga? Ba bangwe … puisanyo e e mashetla. Gakere?
C: Ee
T: Ee, so, ngangisano. Nga…ngi…sa…no. [WRITING ON THE BOARD]. Ke
debate, gakere?
42
C: Ee.
T: Yo o neng a re puisanyo, puisanyo ke eng? [(SILENCE] heh? Puisanyo ke eng?
L6: Facilitation.
T: Facilitation, ke eng?
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: He..? Le thola le re chaela mo le re “oaii, mo go ruta Setswana mo!” O kare lona le
ruta sekgowa.
C: [LAUGHTER]
T: Ee? Ha? (name)
L3: Discussion.
T: Discussion. No. Mme go nale lehoko tota le le maleba; le le welang hela. Ee?
(name)
L7: Communication.
T: Communication? Aa… communication e broad! Kana communication e a go
tsenya di di incident. Or…go nale lehoko hela le le thamaletseng. … Jaanong ha
gongwe ha o ya go heleletsa golo mo, o hithela ele gore ke mokang ele selo se se
ngwehela.; heh? … Akanya ka mahoko a le mabedi a re a bitsang re re ‘puisanyo’.
L8: Ngangisano.
T: Ngangisano; ee, ngangisano. Kana ngangisano ke eng ka sekgowa?
L9: Debate.
T: Debate. Ga kere?
C: Ee.
T: Kana puisanyo yon eke eng?
L10: Communication
L11: Dialogue.
T: Otshwanetse o bo o re pharologanyo hela ke eng? Pharologanyo e hela hale!
Gongwe ke e…ke ha go direlwang teng I think ke gone hela ( ) gore le ha o bua, o
bua ka puisanyo o kgona go tsaya di ( ) tsa…tsa ( )hela wa di tsenya mo teng. Ee,
re taa ta re di lebile tsothe. Ke gone re ta re supa pharologanyo ya teng. Mme ke tsaya
gore ( ). Jaanong re le mo ngangisanong, go nale yo o ka mpolelelang gore go nale
sengwe se se sa supahaleng sente? … Ke eng hela se o ka reng “a, golo ha okare
43
puisanyo ya rona o kare ga se yone”. Se se go tenneng hela ka yone gore o kare golo ha
o kare puisanyo ya rona ga re…gare e dirise ka ha mokgweng. … Jaanong ke eng se se
neng se seyo mo ngangisanong ya rona? Ee? (name) [TO A LEARNER WHO
WANTS TO RESPOND]
L12: Go ne go sena order.
C: (some) [LAUGHTER]
T: Order monna ke ko High Court.
C: [LAUGHS AGAIN]
L12: Re ne re sa reetsane.
T: Very good! Re ne re sa reetsane.
T: Ka go reng?
L12: Ke raya gore … mongwe le mongwe o ne a ipuela hela, a sa reetse.
T: That’s it! Re ne re sa reetsane. That’s very good. A re re ne re sa reetsane. Ke
kgalemile ga kae?
C: [IN CHORUS] Ga ntsi!
T: Ke kgalemile ga ntsi. Yo mongwe hale o kile a re “hei hei hei!” Yo mongwe a le
modumo. Jaanong gore puisanyo e tsamaye sente go tshwanetse ga diragala eng?
L9: Go nne le theetsano.
T: Go nne le theetsano. Re tshwanetse gore ha re ngangisana re reetse yo mongwe.
L8: [INTERRUPTS] Ga go lowe!
T: Ga go lowe! O utwe sengwe le sengwe se a se buang. E seka yare hela a simolola a
santse a re “goromente o dirile sente” a bo le setse le re “wawaa wa…!” Gakere?
C: (some) Ee.
T: Ee, pele ha a heleletsa. Go raya gore ngangisano gore e nne e e ategileng, e
tshwanetse go nna le tsamaiso e nte. Ee, … Ee, se sengwe gape se re se lemogileng e
ka nna ya nna eng, selo se se dirileng gore debate e atege … jaaka eng? Jaana re ne re
ntse re bua hela jaana. A re bue gore erile jaaka re ntse re tshwere kgang eno, ke eng se
o bonyeng se dira gore nnyaa, ee, golo mo go dirile gore ee, ngangisano ya rona e
tsholetsege? … Kgotsa go dirile gore ngangisano ya rona e ye ko tase gore e seka ya
atega ka jaana le jaana?
C: [SILENCE]
44
T: Ke itse gore ka moso go taabo go simololwa gotwe erile ke ruta ke bo ke kobela ko
nte bana …bana ba basetsana, ke ruta basimanyana gore ba pase. … gakere?
L10: M…m [IN DISAGREEMENT]
L11: O nne le lebaka.
T: Ee, ga o kake wa ba wa bua wa nganga ka selo o sena lebaka. Ee, gore o ye go
nganga o tshwanetse o ipapane! Go tshwana le ha o ya letsomong; gakere?
C: (some) Ee…
T: Ga o tsamaye pele o ya go heta o bona o riana o re “ ehe,m mmuta ke oo”, o sa itse
go thaya selaga.
C: [LAUGHTER AND MUMBLES]
T: Gakere?
C: (some) Ee…
T: Ke sone se o bonang basimanya